By ROBERT LINNEHAN
With rates increasing each year by almost 11 percent, the Evesham Township council held several interviews last week to see if money could be saved on the township’s health plan.
With the budget increasing by almost $45,000 for employee health costs next year, Township Manager Tom Czerniecki said the council interviewed six health care providers this past week to see if a cheaper option could be found.
The township is currently enrolled in the state’s healthcare plan.
“The rates have been going up 11 percent a year. The benefit there, of course, is we don’t pay a brokerage fee because it’s through the state,” Czerniecki said. “It’s the ultimate shared service when you think about it. The problem there is there is nothing innovative about their offerings; you just have four Cadillac plans. There aren’t many options.”
A huge portion of the township budget is sunk into healthcare costs each year, Czerniecki said, so if a cheaper rate can be found it would be a boon for the township.
Five providers were interviewed last week and another will be interviewed this next Tuesday. The township is looking at each provider’s staff that would be assigned to Evesham’s account, their experience, and of course their fee structure.
A decision will be made on the insurance provider by the summer. If no other option is cheaper, the township will likely stay with the state insurance plan.
“The answer may be that there is not a better option for us to move to,” he said. “We’re just obligated to go through this process for any professional that has a contract. As for the state rates, we do not see that turning around at all. We think they will continue to rise.”