For 30 years teachers in the Kenosha Unified School District have received their health insurance coverage from the Wisconsin Education Association Trust, a subsidiary of the state teachers’ union. This week the school board voted unanimously to switch to United Healthcare.
The WEA Trust’s premiums are currently $60.1 million, of which $9.6 million is paid by district employees. Next year’s premiums were projected to be $70.4 million — a 17.1 percent increase.
The new plan will cost $41.8 million, with employee contributions at $4.6 million. There are rate caps for the duration of the three-year deal.
The savings will likely lower employee premiums and eliminate the district’s structural deficit.
It’s a win-win, except for the union’s preferred provider.
“The board’s decision to sever its more than 30-year relationship with the trust did not sit well with members of the Kenosha Education Association, many of them long-time teachers who showed up by the dozens and who have sacrificed pay increases for insurance that has helped them through medical emergencies,” reported the Kenosha News.
The WEA Trust has seen its net assets drop precipitously —from $283.3 million in 2013 to $181.2 million in 2016.