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Centre USD 397 looks into health care cost savings

Staff writer

It’s like comparing wholesale to retail.

Centre board of education heard Monday from Howard Danzig of St. Louis, Missouri, president of a company that claims to show small employers how to use the same management as large employers to control health insurance costs.

“You have to know your costs, and you have to change the way you pay for health care,” he told them.

Known as ECCHIC, Employers Committed to Control Health Insurance Costs, the company helps employers figure out their health insurance costs and needs and then connects them with an independent medical network that arranges for price concessions from providers. The middleman is eliminated, he said.

“With us, you have control of your money,” he said.

He listed Mission Valley and Kinsley as two school districts in Kansas that are using the company’s services.

Danzig’s presentation followed a session with the district’s Blue Cross Blue Shield representative Bruce Schultz.

Schultz encouraged the board to look into joining the ESSDACK health insurance pool. The buy-in surcharge of three to five years would be expensive but, considering what’s happening with federal involvement in health care, could result in lower premiums down the road, he said.

“The next 10 years will be vicious,” he said.

Centre is in a state pool for small employers and has exceptionally low rates, according to Schultz.

“It’s not going to get easier,” he said. “It’s going to get much more complex.”

He said the district could expect a 10-15 percent increase in premiums for the next year, which begins May 1.

The board was interested in Danzig’s proposal and had many questions. He had answers for all of them. They agreed to look into it further.

National Honor Society members Ally Basore, Abigail Svoboda, Dylan Deines, Whitney Gutsch, and Kristen Vinduska reported on their district-sponsored weekend trip to Oklahoma City. They visited museums, went ice-skating, and attended an NBA game.

The board approved $800 for Kate Basore to use to campaign for state editor of Future Business Leaders of America. She will use posters, banners, a skit, and other things to promote her election at the state conference.

The board accepted the retirement of teacher Cindy Wyatt at the end of the school year and the immediate resignation of bus driver Dani Hatfield.

Last modified Feb. 10, 2016

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