EBR council approves 3 percent health care hike
BATON ROUGE, La.- East Baton Rouge city-parish employees will pay an additional 3 percent in health insurance premiums next year after the Metro Council approved the increase.
The council appeared deadlocked on the issue with about half of the members agreeing that the premium increases should pass, and the other half wanting to look for ways to absorb the costs into the city-parish budget.
The council failed three times to garner enough votes to either approve the rates increases or to defer the item so the money needed to absorb the increases could be identified in the city-parish budget.
After about an hour of debate, John Carpenter, chief administrative officer to Mayor-President Kip Holden, encouraged the council to approve the rate increase but said that if funding
is freed up in 2012, it would be repaid to the employees through insurance holidays.
This year, city-parish employees paid about $123 for medical insurance for individual plans, meaning a 3 percent increase will increase the cost to about $127 a month.
For family coverage, an employee paid about $500 monthly for the Health Maintenance Organization plan, meaning that next year the cost will be about $515 per month.