JMCSB approves additional money to off-set some insurance costs
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JACKSON, Tenn.,–Some school employees could see more money on their pay stubs. The Jackson-Madison County School Board approved an additional $24.11 a month for all employees currently insured in the district. The more than $300,000 the board approved will go toward alleviating high insurance costs for more than 900 employees currently on the district’s policy. “We need to be aware that this is not going away,” School Superintendent Verna Ruffin said. This decision comes after months of employees pleading for help. The board approved increases to certain coverage plans last year to comply with the affordable health care act. Board member Bob Alvey agrees with this spending for now, but said it could also set the district back financially in the long run.”We still have to take care of our teachers and provide adequate health insurance or this is not a district any of them will choose to work in,” he said. Some board members think a long-term solution will be needed.” There is a real possibility Dr. Ruffin, that next year we’re going to have a bigger problem to deal with,” school board chair Jim Campbell said. Some educators said they appreciate the board’s decision, but it will not off-set the premium increases some are now paying.”Hopefully we can remedy that next year with more discussion on how this played out and took place,” Janis Carroll, president of the Jackson-Madison County Education Association said. Board members agree this is something they will revisit in the future with the discussion of creating an ad hoc committee to communicate with employees and agents about possible future insurance changes.