Up until this point, insurance costs have been covered by the school system; however, Weathers said that changes must be made due to a depleting fund balance.
We are self-insured and there are certain requirements you have to meet. Over the last four years our fund balance depleted from $9 million to somewhere in the $5 million range. It is anticipated that we will be in lower than that, he said.
While he could not comment on specific cases due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Weathers said that several claims were extremely costly this past year. This year was a very high usage year and we had some extraordinary costs. One claim was $350,000 and numerous claims were $100,000 or greater. Every once in a while you have a spike year, he explained.
This is the first change we have had in the cost to the employee. Our cost has just gone to the point where unless the County Commission gives us more money, we wont be able to pick the cost up. We are doing everything we can to make sure our employees are taken care of.