LAKE PLACID - Police officers here are now covered by a new health insurance plan that village officials hope will eventually be offered to all employees.
The Lake Placid village Board of Trustees voted unanimously at last week's meeting to establish and fund health savings accounts for employees under the new health plan. Mayor Craig Randall said eight members of the village police department are enrolled in the plan: six single filers and two family plans.
"The actual coverage is very similar to current plans," Randall said.
Trustee Jason Leon said the plan is "complex, but the savings are worth it.
"If benefits were cut to find savings, I would have outright opposed it, but this a rare win-win for us," Leon said.
Under the new plan, the village will fund health insurance deductibles at a rate of 90 percent. Randall said that money will be placed in a health savings account for each employee.
"It's their responsibility to use these items for deductible costs," Randall said. "The resulting premiums are substantially lower than what we're currently paying for plans for the rest of the village."
Randall said premium costs for the new plan are about 25 percent less than the health plan currently used. He said as of May 1, employees on the new plan will also pay less out of their paychecks for health insurance.
Officials from NBT Bank and Burnham Financial met with the eight police officers last week to go over paperwork and help them get set up with the new plan. Leon said other village employees and their spouses may want to take part in similar sessions before open enrollment for the new plan starts in December.
Village Clerk Kathryn "Kook" McKillip said that's the plan.
"Right now we want to make the transition as smooth as possible for the police department so that when the next employees prepare to switch it will be an easy transition," she said.
Trustee Zay Curtis said it may be helpful to begin educating different village departments in small groups.
Randall noted that up until recently, the police department was not included in the village's health plan due to union rules.