Bixby City Employees Concerned Over Insurance Change

Monday, June 15th 2015, 11:19 pm
By: News On 6

Bixby city employees were outraged at the possibility of insurance rate deductibles going up by thousands of dollars, so the city called a special meeting of the council Monday night.

So many people showed up to the meeting they had to move locations.

Counselors said they started receiving complaints from city employees and spouses about two weeks ago and quickly realized everyone had to come together to air all concerns and put any rumors to rest.

Some of the 106 city employees in Bixby wanted to know more about the new insurance plan the city rolled out and why some deductibles could be significantly higher than what they used to pay.

City Manager, Doug Eneveldson said, "We all know that insurance is one of the most complicated things we deal with and, fortunately, most of us don't deal with it very often."

With healthcare prices on the rise, Bixby city leaders said they needed another option.

An independent insurance broker hired by the city explained that, while some elements of the plan seem to cost more, in the end it is the most comparable to what employees used to have.

"I understand those to be honest and sincere misunderstandings," Eneveldson said.

Employee, Jennifer Mackey said, "More of my concern was how it was rolled out and it was not a very transparent process. The insurance options and gap policies are not terrible in themselves, it was how it was rolled out and how it was explained to families."

At times, council members seemed confused - some suggested giving employees more options to consider - but there isn't much time as the new fiscal year begins July 1.

"We are committed to how many meetings it takes so that their interests are protected, and their concerns are addressed and that we continue to have high-quality insurance," said Eneveldson.

The city has meetings planned Wednesday night where employees can stop by and speak individually about what works best for them, but a decision needs to be made by July 1.