MASSENA — When the 2018-19 school year began, officials were projecting that the St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties School District Employee Medical Plan would generate about $1.4 million in fund balance.
“However, it finished the year with a net income of $3,060,354. The difference of $1.6 million is due to the medical claims coming in below budgeted levels for the year,” according to a report prepared by Locey and Cahill, LLC.
The report said the plan was able to exceed its budgeted goals “due to a rather small number of catastrophic claims. This along with the continuing effective claims administration of the Plan Administration Office enabled the plan to increase its fund balance in relationship to its Article 47 requirements (of the New York Insurance Law).”
Massena Central School Superintendent Patrick Brady reported the latest news to the district’s board of education during its meeting on Thursday. He said medical claims were down 3.6 percent, while drug claims were up 7 percent.
He said the 14 participating districts and St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services were looking at a 5 percent increase in premiums for 2019-20. In addition, Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield will take over the health insurance administration for the plan beginning Jan. 1. That function has been handled by staff at St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services working in BOCES’ administrative offices for more than 30 years.
“Their review claims will start on Jan. 1. There will still be members of the current administration dealing with claims that remain prior to Jan. 1. Any after Jan. 1 will be taken care of by Excellus management,” Mr. Brady said.
Massena’s bargaining units have asked them to look at potential alternative plans and they, along with other superintendents, have requested proposals. But, he said, there haven’t been many responses.
“To this point, there’s no one other than Excellus that has responded,” he said.