Quantcast

Commission to vote on employee style health insurance amid Elio - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Commission to vote on employee style health insurance amid Elio hype

Posted: Updated:

The eighth floor of Government Plaza is jokingly called the penthouse.

Stepping off the elevator, you'll first notice glossy, hardwood floors. The fresh green walls and modern office furniture are nothing fancy, but stand in contrast to other floors that seem untouched since the building was constructed.

This is where you'll find the offices of the Caddo Parish Administration. Their surroundings are a direct result of the parish's financial success. It possesses Louisiana's first and only AAA credit rating from Standards and Poor's. The Haynesville Shale natural gas play was good to Caddo. There's around $40 million in reserve funds and $17 million in an oil and gas fund.

Most on the Caddo Commission Board believe this wealth and prestige is the direct result of their hard work. Now, some, like Commissioner Ken Epperson and Michael Williams, want more from taxpayers for their efforts and a better safety net. 

While the proposal hasn't left committee yet, commissioners are considering a multi-thousand dollar increase in their salaries that are based around $20, 000 annually.

And many commissioners would like to hang around longer than the law currently allows. Caddo voters will decide in October whether commissioners' term limits should increase from three four-year terms to five four-year terms. If passed, this means a commissioner, now limited to a total of 12 years, could serve 20 years straight years if reelected consecutively. 

However, along with more money and time in their chair, some commissioners also want better, employee style benefits. This will happen if Ordinance 5333 -- overshadowed by the proposed $7.5 million purchase of the old GM plant -- gets passed during Thursday's regular session meeting. It authorizes commissioners and their dependents to participate in the parish's group insurance. Some commissioners want to be included in Caddo Parish's health care plan as employees. Right now, they're considered elected officials. But Erica Bryant, the parish's director of finance and human resources, says commissioners' public servant status doesn't exempt them from such a benefit.

"They earn compensation. So, they are, in most sense of the word, employees," Bryant said. "They receive a retirement benefit. They have to pay social security. They have to pay taxes."

Of course, not all commissioners believe the parish should become responsible for their health insurance. Those like Commissioner Michael Thibodeaux say their jobs as public servants mean they are temporary positions and basically part-time. He pointed out part-time parish employees aren't given insurance options.

Caddo Parish's health insurance plan is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield network. Bryant says it's self insured up to the first $125,000 in medical costs. Currently, commissioners can buy into the insurance plan and pay 100 percent of the yearly costs for their individual plan, which adds up to about $8,000 a year without dependents. 

"That means the parish isn't contributing anything towards the health cost, the premium, costs for the commissioners," Bryant said.

Under the proposed law, commissioners would be required to pay only 25 percent of the insurance premium. Parish taxpayers would contribute up to 75 percent, just as it does with full-time employees. If all 12 commissioners buy into the plan, which Bryant believes won't happen, that would be $72,000 the parish forks out a year. It could be more -- that number doesn't include dependents the commissioners may add to their plan. Bryant says the added cost burden would come from the general fund.

"It can be absorbed into the parish's budget with little or no effect on the future," Bryant said.

The parish's insurance plan will not be open for commissioners to enroll into immediately. The law wouldn't go into effect until January 2016. Commissioners would have to be reelected in order to joy the benefit.

"We consider benefits to be part of the compensation packet," Bryant explained. "They cannot increase they're compensation in the current term."

The public has to the opportunity to comment on Ordinance 5333 during Thursday's meeting. The meeting takes place at 3:30 PM within Government Plaza. 

 

  • KTBS 3 InvestigatesMore>>

  • KTBS 3 Investigation finds low levels of chlorine in Shreveport's public pools

    KTBS 3 Investigation finds low levels of chlorine in Shreveport's public pools

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:00:13 GMT
    National data from the CDC reveals one in eight pool inspections found serious violations that threatened public health and safety and resulted in immediate closure. Pretty gross, right? 
    National data from the CDC reveals one in eight pool inspections found serious violations that threatened public health and safety and resulted in immediate closure. Pretty gross, right? 
  • Overton Brooks' Patient's appointment cancellation causes concern

    Overton Brooks' Patient's appointment cancellation causes concern

    Friday, July 11 2014 2:28 PM EDT2014-07-11 18:28:29 GMT
    We've been told by many veterans that they receive quality care at the V.A. hospital in Shreveport. But for some getting an appointment to see their caregivers is the challenge. According to our V.A., they do not have a problem getting patients seen quickly - and the numbers they report echo that conclusion. We’ve uncovered concerns, however, over how their numbers look so good - while patients are still waiting to be seen.“Certainly from my viewpoint here, as a veteran, as a physician, the c...
    We've been told by many veterans that they receive quality care at the V.A. hospital in Shreveport. But for some getting an appointment to see their caregivers is the challenge. According to our V.A., they do not have a problem getting patients seen quickly - and the numbers they report echo that conclusion. We’ve uncovered concerns, however, over how their numbers look so good - while patients are still waiting to be seen.“Certainly from my viewpoint here, as a veteran, as a physician, the c...
  • Overton Brooks Patient says V.A. is lying about access to care

    Overton Brooks Patient says V.A. is lying about access to care

    Friday, July 11 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-07-11 18:14:50 GMT
    So far we've brought you a whistle blower employee, and then, after two weeks of waiting, you heard the official V.A. response. But it's said that there are three sides to every story.“We're not challenged for access at Overton Brooks, we can provide same day access, that's why we're encouraging same day access, that's why we're encouraging veterans to enroll into our system.” Those are the words from Interim Director at Overton Brooks V.A. Medical Center, Toby Mathew, during the news confere...
    So far we've brought you a whistle blower employee, and then, after two weeks of waiting, you heard the official V.A. response. But it's said that there are three sides to every story.“We're not challenged for access at Overton Brooks, we can provide same day access, that's why we're encouraging same day access, that's why we're encouraging veterans to enroll into our system.” Those are the words from Interim Director at Overton Brooks V.A. Medical Center, Toby Mathew, during the news confere...
  • ArkLaTex SlideshowsMore>>

  • ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 AM EDT2014-07-28 14:51:53 GMT
    There are lots of animals in the Ark-La-Tex who are looking for that perfect home.
    There are lots of animals in the Ark-La-Tex who are looking for that perfect home.
  • Bossier's 30th Young Marines class graduates

    Bossier's 30th Young Marines class graduates

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:33 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:33:50 GMT
    Photo courtesy Allen J.M. Smith, BPSOPhoto courtesy Allen J.M. Smith, BPSO
    Twenty-nine recruits ranging from eight years old to teen years earned the title as Bossier Sheriff's Young Marines as Class 30 graduated in front of a packed house of 200 people Friday night at the Bossier Sheriff's Substation in Bossier City.
    Twenty-nine recruits ranging from eight years old to teen years earned the title as Bossier Sheriff's Young Marines as Class 30 graduated in front of a packed house of 200 people Friday night at the Bossier Sheriff's Substation in Bossier City.
  • KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home opens for public tours

    KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home opens for public tours

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:24:04 GMT
    KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home photos courtesy of Courtney Avery.KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home photos courtesy of Courtney Avery.
    The 2014 KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home is now open for weekend tours.
    The 2014 KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home is now open for weekend tours.
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Word of God Ministries hosts Operation A+ Stuff the Bus campaign

    Word of God Ministries hosts Operation A+ Stuff the Bus campaign

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:17 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:17:38 GMT
    Your generous donations continue to roll in for ourOperation A+ Stuff the Bus campaign. Today the bus was parked at Word of God Ministries at 6645 W. Bert Kouns from 9am-3pm.
    Your generous donations continue to roll in for ourOperation A+ Stuff the Bus campaign. Today the bus was parked at Word of God Ministries at 6645 W. Bert Kouns from 9am-3pm.
  • BREAKING NEWS: Caddo Parish has allegations of grade changes

    BREAKING NEWS: Caddo Parish has allegations of grade changes

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:17:55 GMT
    Caddo Parish Public Schools officials are investigating allegations student grades were changed at Booker T. Washington New Tech High School. The investigation follows an anonymous tip sent to Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree.
    Caddo Parish Public Schools officials are investigating allegations student grades were changed at Booker T. Washington New Tech High School. The investigation follows an anonymous tip sent to Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree.
  • Caddo nearly triples AP exam participation

    Caddo nearly triples AP exam participation

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:46:15 GMT
    Participation in Advanced Placement exams at Caddo Parish high schools nearly tripled last school year according to data released today by the Louisiana Department of Education.
    Participation in Advanced Placement exams at Caddo Parish high schools nearly tripled last school year according to data released today by the Louisiana Department of Education.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

    Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

    Friday, August 1 2014 3:39 AM EDT2014-08-01 07:39:31 GMT
    Hundreds of cars submerged below murky water. A landmark basketball court, newly refurbished, showing signs of buckling. Soaked and stained carpets. An athletic track coated in mud.
    Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the...
  • Couple channel grief into retreat for veterans

    Couple channel grief into retreat for veterans

    Friday, August 1 2014 2:43 AM EDT2014-08-01 06:43:17 GMT
    Before shipping out for Iraq, Army Sgt. Trevor Blumberg asked his father to do two things if he didn't return: Look after his puppy, Scrappy, and "take care of my guys."
    Before shipping out for Iraq, Army Sgt. Trevor Blumberg asked his father to do two things if he didn't return: Look after his puppy, Scrappy, and "take care of my guys."
  • Tropical Storm Bertha forms in the Atlantic

    Tropical Storm Bertha forms in the Atlantic

    Friday, August 1 2014 2:42 AM EDT2014-08-01 06:42:14 GMT
    Tropical Storm Bertha has formed, becoming the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
    Tropical Storm Bertha has formed, becoming the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File