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updated: 9/2/2014 10:54 PM

Bartlett mayor's veto on employee health care plan sticks

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  • Video: Veto on Joining Health Co-op

  • Bartlett Mayor Kevin Wallace

      Bartlett Mayor Kevin Wallace

 
 

Bartlett trustees on Tuesday mounted no challenge to Mayor Kevin Wallace's veto of their decision to join a consortium of towns to provide health insurance for the village's employees.

In a 5-0 vote, trustees agreed to let the mayor's veto stand.

The village board will continue to study whether to make the switch to the Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative, which is run by Itasca-based insurance firm AJ Gallagher. The village's financial planners also will now seek formal proposals from other insurance brokers.

"I think that choice was kind of taken away from the board a little bit by just getting us one plan," Wallace said Tuesday.

On Aug. 19, trustees voted 4-2 to join the IPBC, whose 76 members include Barrington, Bloomingdale, Hoffman Estates, Hanover Park, Mount Prospect and Streamwood.

Wallace then vetoed the move, citing in a memo to trustees his concerns that other options and possible cost-saving measures had not been fully explored.

"It may well be that the board will ultimately conclude after further study that membership in the IPBC is the village's best option; however, in my mind, and I believe in the mind of some trustees, there still remain some unanswered questions with respect to the IPBC option, and I further believe it prudent and that it is warranted for the board to review this matter in greater detail," Wallace wrote.

Providing benefits for 165 village employees through IPBC would cost about $3.28 million in the first year, an increase of .8 percent over what the Bartlett currently pays, officials say. Those estimates have Bartlett sticking with its current provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, although the consortium offers two other carriers: UnitedHealthcare and Cigna.

Pooling insurance claims from the nearly 80 communities enrolled in the consortium helps stabilize rates, representatives say.

Under village code, the board needs a two-thirds majority -- or four of six trustees -- to override the veto.

Trustee Eric Shipman, who earlier this month supported joining the cooperative, was absent from the vote Tuesday.

Trustees Aaron Reinke and Vincent Carbonaro originally opposed the cooperative plan and supported the mayor's veto. Reinke continued to caution against inking a deal with the consortium before vetting other firms.

"I think we need to explore our insurance options and do everything we can to save the taxpayers as much money as we can while at the same time providing good, quality health care coverage for our employees," Reinke said.​

The board will likely take a look at other alternatives in October.

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