Blue Cross News

Employees can access all of their important health plan information as well as a large library of health and wellness resources at bluecrossmnonline.com.

 

Free up some of your time by giving your employees a better understanding of their health plan. Share this informational video with them today.

City of Windom Wellness Cycle 360 Classes – Single Session Option!!

We have a few open bikes for our Cycle 360 class.  If you would like try it out or attend when it works in your schedule you can pay a single session fee of $3.00.  Just let Chelsie know (507-822-4643) if you plan to attend so I can make sure there is still an open bike!

The classes will be held on Mondays and Thursdays 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. at River Valley Fitness.

 

 

2018 Health Insurance Options – Update 06/23/2017

To: City of Windom Employees

From: Chelsie Carlson

Follow-up to HSA / VEBA meeting

Thanks to all employees that were able to attend the meeting on June 22 regarding the City health insurance offering for 2018.  I hope the information was valuable and helped explain some options that are available for health insurance in 2018.

Hopefully, this does not add confusion, but after the meeting, I became aware of some further clarifications regarding qualified high deductible plans that are eligible for a HSA option.  These clarifications may or may not affect you but I wanted to make sure everyone receives the information. 

Our current healthcare plan contains two features that are not standard for qualified high deductible health care plans.  The first is an embedded deductible and the second is fourth quarter carryover.  See definitions below. 

The IRS still allows these features with a HSA plan however having these features increases the minimum deductible thresholds.  The previously discussed $1,300 minimum deductible would need to be increased if we wanted to retain one or both of these features.  Our options would be to eliminate these features and have the lowest minimum deductible or include one or both of these features and raise the minimum deductible accordingly.  Keep in mind that our current premiums are increased because of these features so there would be additional premium savings by eliminating them if that is what is decided.

As we get closer to renewal, further information  will be provided showing the deductibles and premiums with all available options.

Embedded Deductibles

When a health plan has embedded deductibles, it just means that a single member of a family doesn’t have to meet the full family deductible for after-deductible benefits to kick in.  Instead, the person’s after-deductible benefits will kick in as soon as he or she has met the individual deductible, even if the coverage is through a family plan.

Fourth Quarter Carryover Provision

Any amount that you pay toward your deductible in the fourth quarter of a calendar year (between October 1 and December 31) is credited for the current year and the next year. This may help you save money when you need services near the end of the year.

 

 

2018 Health Insurance Options – Meeting Reminder

PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND ONE OF THESE SESSIONS TO GET ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ANSWERED!!

For additional information on a combined HSA/VEBA offering a Select Account representative will be in Windom on June 22nd to review and explain the information in greater detail to interested employees.  Informational meetings will be held in the Council Chamber from 12:30 PM -1:30 PM and 2:00 PM-3:00 PM.

HSA VS VEBA Comparison Information

 

 

To: City of Windom Employees

From: Chelsie Carlson

To help provide lower health care costs, the City is a member of the Southwest West Central Coop (SWWC) health insurance pool.  I recently attended a SWWC Coop Executive Committee meeting where industry trends and the status of our health insurance pool were discussed.  At this time, we do not have 2018 premium renewal numbers but based on the Coop discussions we are likely to receive another significant increase in premiums if no changes are made to our current health insurance plan.

Currently, the City has only one health insurance plan that has been in place since 2004.  One tool SWWC wants employee groups to consider is a combined HSA/VEBA offering.  Our current health plan only qualifies for a VEBA account.  There are pros and cons to using each type of Health Savings Account (HSA).  To maximize the benefits available a health insurance plan that qualifies for both a HSA account and a VEBA would be beneficial.  In 2018, HSA accounts require a health plan with a minimum deductible of $1,350 for single and $2,700 for family.  This would be a slight increase in the deductible from our current plan, but it could be off-set with additional tax saving benefits.  Attached is a brochure that explains VEBA and HSA accounts and some of the differences.  As a second option, the SWWC encouraged employers to offer more than one health insurance plan to employees.  For example, the City could offer higher deductible plans as options for employees to reduce premium costs for both employees and the City.  Cost savings in these higher deductible plans could lead to revised employee/employer contribution rates that would need to be negotiated between the union and the City.

Please note that a combined HSA/VEBA offering added to the current health insurance plan or providing other health insurance plan options would be considered a change in overall benefits covered by union contracts and must be negotiated with the unions as part of the labor agreement. 

If you would be interested in these options please contact your union steward or union representative.  We encourage your union representatives to follow up with myself or Steve to discuss further possible changes to our health insurance coverage.

 

City of Windom Wellness Cycle 360 Classes – UPDATE

A FEW SPOTS ARE OPEN – SPOUSES ARE ELIGIBLE – CONTACT CHELSIE TO SIGN-UP

ccarlson@windomnet.com

 

Looking for something to change up your exercise routine or try something new.…….. The City is offering Cycle 360 classes (combination of on-bike and off-bike core work) at River Valley Fitness.  The class is a 6-week session beginning June 19th – July 27th and those participating will also have use of the entire facility on class days. 

The classes will be held on Mondays and Thursdays 6:00 – 6:45 p.m.

The cost to participate is $15 for all 6 weeks (space is limited). 

Signup and pay your $15 fee by June 9th at City Hall.

PERA Newsletter

Newsletter – Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota 

City of Windom Wellness Cycle 360 Classes

Looking for something to change up your exercise routine or try something new.…….. The City is offering Cycle 360 classes (combination of on-bike and off-bike core work) at River Valley Fitness.  The class is a 6-week session beginning June 19th – July 27th and those participating will also have use of the entire facility on […]

City of Windom 2017 Employee Wellness Cookbook

DEADLINE EXTENDED – Submit your recipes by Friday June 2nd.  NOTE: Drawing entries will only be given for three recipes but if you have more than three favorites, submit as many as you wish!

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS!!

We are looking for favorite employee and/or spouses family recipes to include in our City Cookbook.   Linda Carruthers (Hy-Vee Dietitian) will be adding suggestions and tips for healthy substitutions and also some healthy recipes.

  • Everyone who participates will receive a $5.00 coupon from Hy-Vee and a free copy of the cookbook.
  • Each recipe will earn an entry into a drawing for $25 Hy-Vee gift card. (up to 3 entries for each employee)

.  

Send recipes to: ccarlson@windomnet.com or drop off at City office.

2018 Health Insurance Options

To: City of Windom Employees

From: Chelsie Carlson

To help provide lower health care costs, the City is a member of the Southwest West Central Coop (SWWC) health insurance pool.  I recently attended a SWWC Coop Executive Committee meeting where industry trends and the status of our health insurance pool were discussed.  At this time, we do not have 2018 premium renewal numbers but based on the Coop discussions we are likely to receive another significant increase in premiums if no changes are made to our current health insurance plan.

Currently, the City has only one health insurance plan that has been in place since 2004.  One tool SWWC wants employee groups to consider is a combined HSA/VEBA offering.  Our current health plan only qualifies for a VEBA account.  There are pros and cons to using each type of Health Savings Account (HSA).  To maximize the benefits available a health insurance plan that qualifies for both a HSA account and a VEBA would be beneficial.  In 2018, HSA accounts require a health plan with a minimum deductible of $1,350 for single and $2,700 for family.  This would be a slight increase in the deductible from our current plan, but it could be off-set with additional tax saving benefits.  Attached is a brochure that explains VEBA and HSA accounts and some of the differences.  As a second option, the SWWC encouraged employers to offer more than one health insurance plan to employees.  For example, the City could offer higher deductible plans as options for employees to reduce premium costs for both employees and the City.  Cost savings in these higher deductible plans could lead to revised employee/employer contribution rates that would need to be negotiated between the union and the City.

Please note that a combined HSA/VEBA offering added to the current health insurance plan or providing other health insurance plan options would be considered a change in overall benefits covered by union contracts and must be negotiated with the unions as part of the labor agreement. 

If you would be interested in these options please contact your union steward or union representative.  We encourage your union representatives to follow up with myself or Steve to discuss further possible changes to our health insurance coverage.

For additional information on a combined HSA/VEBA offering a Select Account representative will be in Windom on June 22nd to review and explain the information in greater detail to interested employees.  Informational meetings will be held in the Council Chamber from 12:30 PM -1:30 PM and 2:00 PM-3:00 PM.

HSA VS VEBA Comparison Information

Hy-Vee Simple Fix Employee Workshop

REMINDER: Deadline for Signup is Monday May 22nd.  Sign-up Today!!

2017 Wellness Employee Simple Fix Workshop
Sign-up now to prepare 4 easy crockpot meals to take home. (Employees and/or spouses are invited).

The workshop is scheduled for May 30th at 6:30 in the Hy-Vee kitchen and will last approximately 1 hour. 

The City of Windom Wellness Program will sponsor the workshop and reduce the full participant fee of  $60 to only $20 per participant (just $5 per meal)!!!.

Hy-Vee shops for the groceries, cleans and chops all the ingredients, and provides the space, bowls and utensils.

At the workshop each participant puts together 4 recipes in a separate freezer bag that they can take home, put in the freezer and then thaw out and pop in the crockpot when they desire. Each meal includes a recipe, and cooking instructions.  The meals make anywhere from 4-8 servings. The purpose is to encourage cooking at home and becoming aware that it is cheaper to prepare meals than to eat out. The crockpot meals allow for convenience.

Simple Fix Recipes – May 3oth Workshop

Jamaican Jerk Chick Sliders with Pineapple Salsa

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Teriyaki Chicken

Pacific Pork

A participant count is needed to plan supplies.  Call City Hall or email Leesa(larndt@windom-mn.com) or Chelsie (ccarlson@windomnet.com) to sign-up for the workshop.  Participant fee of $20.00 will be paid to Hy-Vee at the workshop.

Substitutions can be made for food allergies.  Please notify Chelsie if any accommodations are needed.