Commentary on the Madison School District’s healthcare costs

Logan Wroge:

According to MTI’s memo, health insurance changes under consideration include:

  • Moving future retirees from health insurance plans offered through the district to the state Department of Employee Trust Funds’ Local Annuitant Health Program, a relatively new program for retired public employees.

  • Increasing employee premium contributions for teachers and other employees from 3% to 6% and for certain hourly workers, such as security assistants, from 1.25% to 2.5%.

  • Adding a $100 deductible for individual plans and $200 for family plans.

  • Dropping GHC and replacing it with a plan through Quartz.

  • Increasing employee premium contributions to 10% or 12%.

Keillor said a major increase in employee premium contributions is a “nonstarter.”

“We have not gotten any kind of sense over one that’s more preferred,” he said of the options under consideration. “Right now, I’d say none of these are preferable options to folks.”

But Keillor acknowledged the union doesn’t have a say in the decision other than amplifying the voices of employees because Act 10 — the 2011 law that severely limited the power of most public-sector unions — restricts unions to only negotiating on base wages.

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

Health insurance costs have long been an issue in the Madison School District.

Administrators warned that benefits were unsustainable in 2014.