Shortly after the Louisiana State Legislature gave teachers a one thousand dollar pay raise, some Lafayette Parish teachers may see a big chunk of it go to health insurance.
“We have to make sure that our funding level is adequate so that we can provide the benefits.” said LPSS Insurance Director, Mona Bernard.
Bernard explains they had to make changes to its health insurance policy as medical costs go up.
“This year we decided to not have a premium which would affect everybody, but just to adjust the benefits to save that money so we avoid a premium increase.” she said.
The most notable changes to the Lafayette Parish School System’s health insurance policy is that the maximum out of pocket costs will increase by 550 for expenses and and by 200 for prescriptions.
“If their maximum out of pocket was $4200 but now to pay 100% of your maximum out of pocket cost will be $4750.” Bernard explained.
Julia Reed, the president of the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators points out the increases come at a bad time because it is too late for teachers to switch plans.
“It’s going to financially impact them at a time where they are more vulnerable. I mean the max out of pocket on both of these plans is a quarter is about a quarter of a teacher’s salary.” said Reed.
Although these changes have been in the works for months, reed says the school system didn’t do a good job of communicating them.
“It’s hard for teachers and the perception of it is the big problem.” said Reed.
“There was there no intention to take anyone’s raise. We would not do that. We are very pleased that they got the raise and we would think that most people again 85 percent on the plan won’t even be affected by the changes on this plan.” added Bernard.
The changes go into effect on July 1st.