Friday, September 14, 2012

Handbook Focus Group Discussion II

Here is a portion of the transcripts from the handbook focus groups last spring.  I met with six different groups for 1-2 hours.  The information I gathered was very informative and I appreciated the time people spent telling me what was most important to them as we considered the Handbook. Since our next meeting on the Handbook will revolve around Health Insurance benefits, I wanted to post comments on this topic.

This represents information from three focus groups:

  •  Offer options. Pay more if you want a more flexible plan.
  • Option for a health savings account.
  • If we go to HMO, I would appreciate a PPO option for those who don’t go to Mercy or Dean.  Keep dental insurance and counseling insurance current.  Keep volunteer benefits the same.
  • I have to stick up for those who don’t have insurance…part time employees.  Everyone deserves to have that coverage.  Employees shouldn’t be sacrificing their health because they don’t have insurance.
  • CHC does help, both the client and the district.
  • I am concerned about raising the premium share.  In our group our wages are much lower.   The 12%... I am concerned about the hit that my take home pay will take.  WRS contribution is the same for everyone, but the 12% of the premium will be a bigger percentage of my income as compared to a higher wage earner.  Then add in a high deductible plan and that would be an ever harder hit.  We aren’t state employees, we have a different health insurance…why does it have to be 12%?  We can set it where we need to.
  • Dental should be looked at.  The coverage needs to be increased to cover more.  I like the idea of having the options of health care insurance so we can go to the providers we want to go to.  That is a huge benefit.  Long term and short term disabilities should be kept as well.
  • As a district we have good coverage.  The quality is very good.
  • We have paid for the health insurance with our wages…holding down raises for better benefits.
  • Two workings spouses, can one spouse opt out?  Could cost go toward retirement or other benefits?
  • Preventative medicine pays off in the long run, so it would save the district in the long run.
  • Making sure that we keep prescription drug coverage is important.
  • Holistic health care.
  • Retirees should be able to go to different providers when they move away.  Keep premiums where it’s at and deductibles the same.  If we go HMO, don’t have 20% responsibility.
  • I’m very afraid of the deductible of $4000.  I am scared of a large deductible.  I’m a person who is hoping to have kids.  I always want to have the opportunity to take them to the best doctors and not be tied to a specific HMO.
  • I really like the option of a base insurance, if you want to go to another hospital you pay the difference.  I would like to have the opportunity to select.
  • I like any type of option.  I would like the option of a higher deductible for lower premiums.  Everyone’s situation is completely different.
  • When people don’t spend money on health care they get sicker and develop bigger health care issues.
  • People who have severe medical issues need the flexibility to go to their own specialist.
  • Is there any incentive if you choose not to take health care?
  • You don’t want to penalize someone for a health issue.

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