THT Health to boost premiums on CCSD teacher medical health insurance

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Clark County School District teachers who’ve multiple relations covered under their medical health insurance are facing a value increase, and in some cases, their premiums are nearly doubling.

THT Health’s open enrollment period for the 2022-23 profit yr began Aug. 3 and continues through Aug. 24. The changes take effect Oct. 1.

Aspects behind the increases include inflation and the teacher shortage — essentially, more expenses to opened up amongst fewer people who find themselves insured by the health trust.

“The expenses for health care are truly going up,” THT Health CEO Tom Zumtobel told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday.

THT Health is the medical health insurance provider for about 36,000 people — licensed school district employees and their relations. The trust, which struggled for years with financial issues and was bailed out multiple times, is overseen by the Clark County Education Association teachers union.

The premium increases could have the biggest effect on families who go for a standard PPO plan.

Educators who’re insured individually or with one dependent won’t see a premium increase for medical advantages but will see a “nominal premium change” in the event that they go for the dental PPO over the HMO option, in accordance with the trust’s website.

Zumtobel said during a Thursday night School Board meeting that the college district does a “excellent job” of funding educators but doesn’t fund families, and “our expenses are with the families.”

He said the health trust isn’t blissful in regards to the premium increases.

John Vellardita, executive director of the Clark County Education Association, referred a Review-Journal request for comment on Friday to Zumtobel.

In a Friday statement, the college district said, “Since the insurance program is run by THT, we’d defer to them for a response.”

Last school yr, educators began raising concerns about being dropped as patients by their medical providers or sent to collections as a result of unpaid claims.

The varsity district gave a $35 million advance to the health trust last yr, and it have to be repaid by the top of June 2024.

In October, an agreement was reached between the district and teachers union. It included financial transparency and other requirements, comparable to settling past-due claims.

Zumtobel told the Review-Journal on Friday that the health trust has done “remarkable things” within the last yr, including resolving past-due claims and collections cases. He said it has “turned the operation around.”

He said the trust wasn’t anticipating premium increases, but inflation and fewer teachers played a job.

The health trust said on its website that its “trending inflation” is 8.73 percent, compared with local and national employers which are experiencing cost increases of 12 to 25 percent of their plans.

It’s hard to recruit teachers, Zumtobel said, noting he understands that premium increases don’t help.

He said the increases have hit families hard.

“I hate it, personally, but it surely wasn’t fair to place it back on the person teachers,” he said.

Highschool teacher Ryan Fromoltz — who’s insured as a person under the normal PPO plan — said he has heard concerns from district employees who’ve multiple children about how they’re going to pay for the premium increases.

“Teachers are taking a look at options of leaving since the premiums have increased a lot for families,” he said.

THT Health offers two plan options: a standard PPO and a high deductible plan.

Latest this yr: The varsity district will contribute $500 for a person and $1,000 for a family right into a health savings account for those on the high deductible plan.

That’s a big profit, Zumtobel said, noting he thinks that has been lost within the conversation.

One other change: There are additional family subscriber categories — subscriber plus two to 4 people and subscriber plus five or more people. Currently, it’s just “subscriber plus family.”

Employees pay $245 per biweekly paycheck for the Signature Plan, the normal PPO. That can increase to between $368 and $475.50, depending on the dimensions of the family and the dental plan chosen.

There’s a smaller premium increase for the high deductible Advantage Plan, which is currently $232.50 for a family. Now, costs will range from $247.50 to $267.50.

By comparison, individual licensed employees can pay anywhere from $7.50 to $19.50 per paycheck, depending on which plan and dental advantages they select.

An worker plus one member of the family can pay between $115 and $134 per paycheck.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter. Reporter Lorraine Longhi contributed to this report.

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