Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Recommends Three Proposals To Reduce Health Care Costs
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Roy Romer on Tuesday announced three proposals to reduce the district's annual health care costs, estimated to reach $1 billion in five years, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Romer proposed the elimination of "double benefits," when a husband and wife employed by the school district each receive a health plan. Under the proposal, expected to save the district $5 million per year, married couples who have double benefits will receive $1,000 to drop one of the plans. Romer also proposed to revise the district's prescription drug coverage policy. Under the plan, employees could receive a 90-day supply of a prescription for a $10 copayment after their first visit to a pharmacy. In addition, Romer called for an end to lifetime health benefits for new employees after they become eligible for Medicare at age 65. Retired employees who have worked for the district for a requisite number of years receive health benefits from both the district and Medicare. Romer did not provide an estimate on the amount that the proposal would save the district. "We are going to have to work together to keep the quality but reduce the cost of health care, or (the cost) will break us," Romer said. More than 100 district employees from seven unions have asked the district Board of Education, which must approve the proposals, not to reduce their health benefits (Gao, Los Angeles Daily News, 8/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.