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Massena employees swtiching to high-deductible plan

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MASSENA — Town employees will switch to a high-deductible, low-premium insurance plan that is expected to save the town about $80,000 in its first year.

Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said the plan will be fully funded by the town, with deductibles paid through health savings accounts established for each of the 45 employees who will use the plan, including seven nonunion employees who previously had contributed 5 percent to the cost of their insurance premiums.

The plan was offered by Town Councilman Charles A. Raiti in his final meeting as a member of the Town Council.

“I’m proposing that our nonunion employees no longer have to pay for their insurance,” he said, adding the move would cost the town about $2,500 for the year.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Mr. Gray noted the switch to the plan, operated by the Teamsters, came following negotiations with the town’s highway crew, and the decision to put other employees into the plan was allowed because of a provision in the town’s contract that allows it to switch insurance providers as long as employees continue to receive “equal to or better coverage.”

Given that the plan, including each individual’s deductible, is fully funded, Mr. Gray said he feels like this plan is a better one.

“All of their out-of-pocket expenses will go away,” he said. “It’s a good plan and it’s definitely better for the employees.”

Councilman John F. Macaulay agreed.

“I doubt the Teamsters are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s a good plan for their employees,” he said.

Mr. Raiti said the employees aren’t the only ones who benefit.

“It’s a good plan for everyone. It’s a win-win,” he said.

Another benefit to the plan is that while most insurance plans offer only a single plan or a family plan, Councilman Thomas C. Miller said this one offers a single, couples and family plan.

“Not very many plans do that,” he said.

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