Milwaukee schools braces for bruising budget battle; busing services, health care benefits could be pared

Annys Johnson:

The school board’s Committee on Accountability, Finance and Personnel will take up two other cost-saving proposals on Tuesday, including one to restructure employee health care benefits. According to the administration’s analysis, that proposal would save up to $17.4 million by:

Eliminating coverage of spouses who have access to insurance elsewhere or charge employees extra to keep them on their plan ($7.9 million).

Raising co-pays for doctors visits to $35, urgent care to $50 and emergency rooms to $175 ($4.3 million).

Increasing employee contributions for their health care to 7% for low-wage workers and as much as 19% for those earning $101,000 or more (up to $3.2 million).
Eliminating a long-term disability benefit that has cost the district about $2.3 million in premiums since January 2017, but reaped benefits for just four employees totaling $47,534 ($2 million).
The committee also will consider a proposal to explore the creation of near-site health clinics for employees that could save an estimated $700,000 annually.

25% of Madison’s 2014-2015 budget was spent on benefits.