City’s Stop-Loss Insurance Increases

Because of one person’s above-average claims, the stop-loss insurance for the city of Jamestown is increasing dramatically.

On Monday, Joseph Bellitto, city comptroller, told Jamestown City Council members the stop-loss insurance coverage for the period June of this year to May 2015, will be increasing more than $200,000. Bellitto said the city paid $223,537 in premiums from June of 2013 to May of this year. However, there was more than $513,349 in claims during that same time period. Bellitto said he was afraid that no insurance carrier would submit bids for the city’s stop-loss coverage because of this increase.

In health insurance, a stop-loss policy takes effect after a certain amount has been paid in claims. Companies providing health insurance for employees through a self-insured plan often subscribe to stop-loss policies in order to protect themselves against catastrophic claims. The city’s insurance carrier is Premier, which is affiliated with Highmark.

Bellitto discussed five proposals with City Council. He said the best two options come from Premier. Because of the increase in claims, Bellitto said the best two options for the city has the insurance increasing between $233,000 to $280,000. How much the city would pay would depend on what option is selected and how many people supersede the deductible of $175,000. City Council will vote on what proposal to select at its next meeting Monday.

In other business, Jeff Lehman, city public works director, said the Public Works Department is almost done completing the schedule of street repairs and construction for 2014. Lehman said street, sidewalk and curb work will be done in the area of Washington Street around Fifth Street, Lakeview Avenue, Outlet Avenue, Veterans Park and Phase 5 and 6 of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk. Phase 5 is a trail between McCrea Point and Clifton Avenue and Phase 6 is trails through the city connecting McCrea Point to Panzarella Park near the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities facility.