Killeen ISD Employees Upset With Choice of Health Plan
Killeen Independent School District employees pleaded in vain Tuesday night for four board members to reconsider their decision to vote against employee wishes on the district’s current health care plan.
Last month, the district’s six-person board of trustees voted to stay with Blue Cross Blue Shield despite administrators recommending TRS Active Care, a health care program headed by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Employees had initially voted for BCBS, but a new vote was taken after it was discovered that information about the cost of the plan was incorrect. 38% of employees voted for TRS Active Care, with the reaming votes spilt between BCBS, Scott & White and non-votes.
However, four board members voted to stick with BCBS in September, expressing concerns that prices under TRS might go up unexpectedly because of provisions in the Affordable Care Act and that the district might become locked in with TRS and unable to choose a plan the following school year.
The majority of employees who spoke out during Tuesday night’s standing room-only meeting urged board members to reconsider that decision, with most arguing that they would face higher premiums under BCBS. Some expressed concern about lower-paid employees such as maintenance workers, bus drivers and classroom aides who they say could face serious financial burdens under BCBS’s higher premiums.
Board member Shelley Wells – one of four members who voted in favor of BCBS – said after a closed executive session with the district’s attorney’s that changing the legal decision regarding the district’s health plan was “not a viable option”, but called this year’s process a “learning experience” that will factor into next year’s decision.