Photo by / Dakota Antelman
Shrewsbury Police Station, the Center for the Elderly and City Hall are located off Maple Road.
By Melanie Petrucci, Senior community informant
SHREWSBURY – The city of Shrewsbury recently learned that its health insurance provider, Fallon Health, will no longer have commercial health insurance, as of June 30, 2022. Kevin Mizikar, city manager, reviewed the implications of this situation with the select on April 27th.
“For Shrewsbury, this is a major challenge because we are part of the West Suburban Health Group (WSHG), which is a joint purchasing group of 11 or ten other municipal entities,” he said. “We pool our resources to insure ourselves, manage risk, and enjoy lower health insurance rates.”
Fallon is the low cost plan offered through the WSHG. On average, it is about eight percent cheaper than the next cheapest plan available. The cost to cover the debt that the city will absorb ranges from $ 900,000.
“We can’t afford to put an arbitrary eight per cent on that [tight budget]”Mizikar commented.
The city’s share in the annual cost of employee bonuses is approximately $ 11.3 million.
The elimination of this plan will affect 709 of the city’s 806 active employees who are in this plan. This represents 87.97 percent of the municipal workforce.
“We know we need to do something and have started meeting as a Western suburban health group already in planning and going through our key processes for the next fiscal year and in consideration of all the other options we have.” , said Mizikar.
Selected Council President Beth Casavant remarked that health insurance is one of the largest budgets city drivers. It is also one of the most volatile items.