FARGO — Fargo City Commissioner John Strand has asked the town to look into adding contraceptive coverage to its worker medical insurance plan.
Fargo’s “grandfathered” medical insurance plan allows the town to bypass the federal requirement to cover contraceptives.
On the Monday, July 11, City Commission meeting, Strand said he hoped they might weigh the professionals and cons and get a way of whether it’s realistic so as to add coverage to the town’s medical insurance plan.
“In light of
Roe v. Wade being dismantled by the Supreme Court,
I believe we’re compelled to know what are the implications to our workforce,” Strand said.
“Are there any gaps in services that might be coming to families? … Is there a desire to have contraceptive coverage?” he asked. “I need the general public to know we’re listening to these issues.”
Human Resources Director Jill Minette said the town’s medical insurance is obtainable through Blue Cross Blue Shield. The grandfathered plan adopted in 2018 was modeled after the Public Employees Retirement System plan and doesn’t include contraceptive coverage, she said.
The plan is reviewed annually, Minette said, noting city employees have asked about oral contraceptive coverage prior to now.
When options to extend contraceptive and other coverage in past years, she said, the town found it might mean a ten% increase in premiums, on top of what has been a few 15% increase in recent times.
“It really becomes an issue of what can the town budget support, and what can individual employees who’re enrolled in our medical insurance support,” she said.
Minette noted there are added advantages when moving to the next coverage plan, equivalent to increased preventative care and other positives.
Commissioner Arlette Preston asked Commissioner Denise Kolpack, a former Blue Cross Blue Shield executive, if she knew of any studies comparing the price of unplanned pregnancies with covering contraceptives.
Kolpack said she has not seen such a study.
Boosting worker advantages can have unintended consequences, she added, equivalent to losing the town plan’s grandfathered status.
Medical health insurance is “one in every of the biggest expenses that the residents pay for as a part of the final budget,” Kolpack noted.
Minette said early estimates for 2023 premiums would likely be available in August or September, and the town could have a look at options at the moment. No motion was taken at Monday’s meeting.