New VEHI Plans Offer More Value to School Employees than Current Plans
Montpelier, Vt. – In addition to pouring nearly $50 million of a projected $75 million in savings into benefits to make sure school employees wouldn’t pay more out of pocket for healthcare, new plans offered by the Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI) are also more valuable to the employees than current plans, according to an analysis provided to the Scott Administration.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and VEHI confirmed the actuarial value of the new plans is equal to or greater than that of the school employees’ current plans. This means, in plain language, that the projected costs incurred by school employees for the modeled health care plans in the Governor’s proposal are less than the costs they incur in current plans. The current plans also cost more, which is the basis for the projected savings in Governor Scott's proposal, and will not be an option for employees in calendar year 2018.
In addition to offering employees better value, Governor Scott's proposal would return up to $26 million of the savings generated to taxpayers. Scott's spokeswoman, Rebecca Kelley said this is another reminder of the benefit of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reduce education costs by tens of millions each year, without cutting services to kids or requiring school employees to pay more for health insurance.
“Governor Scott remains fully committed to ensuring maximum savings for taxpayers from a change in health plans that will save up to $75 million a year and not require teachers to pay more ,” said Kelley.
“His proposal reinvests nearly $50 million of this savings in Vermont’s teachers so they can have similar coverage and keep their out-of-pocket costs the same. It also makes certain taxpayers benefit from the remaining savings – up to $26 million a year,” Kelley continued. “Perhaps best of all, the plans themselves will be more valuable to the employees than their current plans. It’s a real win-win for taxpayers and school employees.”
The Governor’s plan is currently the only plan presented with a real mechanism to maximize savings for taxpayers, ensure teachers and all school employees won’t pay more, and achieve equity and sustainability in health care coverage for school employees across all districts.
Scott’s plan also enjoys strong support from the Vermont School Boards Association and the Vermont Superintendents Association.
“The Governor is not willing to leave millions in taxpayer relief to chance when we have this one-time opportunity to make Vermont more affordable – on an immediate and ongoing basis – without cutting programs for kids or asking teachers to pay more,” Kelley concluded. “And now it has been independently verified that these plans are more valuable than current plans, and will not cost employees anymore. It’s really a no-brainer.”