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MCISD discusses 4.5 percent increase in insurance rates

MISSION — Representatives from Humana presented Mission Consolidated Independent School District trustees and staff with an insurance plan that includes a 4.5 percent increase in rates along with a wellness plan to reward healthy living.

The increase would be an across-the-board increase, with no change in benefits offered. In response to concerns about the plan’s fourth tier, which resulted in higher costs for people who had serious health problems like cancer or multiple sclerosis, a $100 co-pay cap was added to it, which would result in an across the board $5 dollar increase in co-pays. In the current plan, people facing this situation would have to pay up to 25 percent up to $2,500.

The proposal would also encourage people to utilize Humana’s mail-in prescription service for maintenance drugs. By utilizing mail-in scripts, people would be able to get three prescriptions for the price of two.

Trustee James Olivarez, and a few MCISD staff, said they were concerned about this as they said it would hurt local pharmacists. As it stands, only a small percentage of MCISD staff use mail-in order prescriptions, said Humana’s Pam Taylor, who said MCISD could use the service more than it does.

One new aspect to the plan would be Humana Vitality, which is a wellness program that offers rewards to members who participate in it.

Superintendent Cornelio Gonzalez said he was excited about the program as it plays into the district’s own efforts to curb obesity and diabetes.

“We need to create a culture in our community about being conscious of our health issues and taking care of ourselves and as we educate our community everybody is going to be better and there will be savings,” he said. “But the main thing is it’s better and we have health issues because of a lack of understanding. This is just going to reinforce something we should be doing ourselves.”

Olivarez also asked Humana’s representatives about a 1585 letter everyone in the district received. Because of health care reform, Humana can’t keep more than 15 percent of what’s paid to it for administrative costs. And that goes for all insurance companies. MCISD members received about $37,000, which the district is determining how to disburse in accordance with the law.

Several insurance plan options from Humana will be taken up at the August 15 Trustee meeting.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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