The Neosho R-5 Board of Education voted on Thursday to increase insurance rates by nine percent for the district's employees, with the intention of saving the district money and offering better coverage to members of the district.
"We can with confidence guarantee that this new plan is 100 percent compliant with Health Care Reform, which was something we had huge concerns about under our last platform," said assistant superintendent of business and finance Tim Crawley. "We are still self-funded, that's our plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield, we do still control our plan."
Crawley said the rate increase will result in an estimated $261,000, which is included in budget plans for next year.
The district's most recent increase occurred in 2010-2011, according to the board packet.
The former rates were as follows: $354 monthly for employees and retirees; $374 for an employee's spouse; $181 for an employee's child; $235 for two or more children; and $511 for family coverage.
However, with the nine percent increase, rates come to $386 for current employees and retirees; $407 for a spouse; $197 for a child; $256 for two or more children; and $556 for family coverage.
Crawley said the changes should allow those on the insurance policy access to more in-network providers and faster access to medical care.
"I think it is a much better plan than we've had and we do want to continue to improve it," Crawley said. "The plan was not bad in the past, it was good in the past, I think we've been able to make it even better and strengthen it."
In other business, Crawley said the district is waiting to hear back from the United States Air Force on whether or not Major Bryce Langley and Technical Sgt. Richard Wade, who run the district's Air Force Junior ROTC program, would have their funding cut for the summer months due to sequestration.
Crawley said after discussing the matter with Langley and Wade, the two have requested to go to 10-month and 11-month positions respectively.
Crawley said he expects a response in June and would likely approach the board in the future to discuss funding the positions for the remainder of the 12 months that the Air Force can no longer fund.
If the district were to fund the positions in the summer months, it would be a $9,229.47 cost for the district.