On Monday, the Clay Community School Board prepped itself for some big looming decisions.
The board heard updates regarding health insurance and retirement liability from CCS Director of Business Affairs Mike Fowler.
Fowler informed the board that the corporation recently received two bids for health insurance, from Anthem Insurance and the Indiana State Teacher's Association Trust. He said the corporation did not receive bids from Humana, Principal, United Healthcare and CIGNA.
According to Fowler, current total costs through the corporation's health insurance plan are $4,584,501. He told the board Monday the ISTA bid was $5,876,670 or a 28.2 percent increase ($1,292,169) from current costs.
In contrast, Anthem's bid was $5,125,790 or 11.8 percent more ($541,289) in current costs.
Anthem's bid, according to Fowler, was $750,880 lower than the bid from ISTA.
In an alternate plan provided by Fowler, Anthem's bid was $804,459 lower than the bid from ISTA.
The third option provided by Fowler involved Health Savings Accounts and High Deductible Health Plans.
RE Sutton and Associates representative Paul Biltimier provided explanation of the third option. Biltimier represents more than 120 schools in the state.
"We're trying to come up with the most efficient health plan (for the corporation)," Biltimier said.
The third option called to bid out specifically for non-teaching with deductibles ranging between $1,500 and $3,000 and $2,000 and $4,000.
Biltimier said an HDHP could begin on Jan. 1, 2008, while the current plan design would be in place until then.
According to Fowler, all plans will increase corporation costs and there would be no savings over the current costs. However, he said changes could be made to reduce the increase.
Fowler said there was "no magic bullet" that would exist to solve the situation. He added that costs should be everyone's concerns and increased board costs will equal less pay raises.
Meanwhile, Fowler also led a discussion regarding retirement benefits, totals that will increase as more teachers retire.
According to Fowler, CCS has a significant number of teachers close to retirement. All retirement liability is taken out of the corporation's general fund.
Fowler said $665,000 is currently spent on retirees and not current employees.
He projected retirement costs will increase at more than $1 million in the future, an amount he said the corporation does not have set aside.
"It's a major concern," Board President Terry Barr said.
Fowler said he hoped to see a vote regarding the issues by Thursday.
The board meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month at the North Clay Middle School media center. Its next meeting is set for 7:30 p.m., Thursday.