The Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education chose to increase board and employee insurance premiums during a special meeting Monday afternoon, at the district headquarters.

"The board chose to increase insurance premiums by $25," said R-2 superintendent Dr. Roger Barnes on Thursday morning.

Insurance premiums for R-2 board of education members were raised to $410, while district employee premiums went up from $58 to $83 per month.

Changes also came in the form of raised deductibles and plan structure.
Deductibles increased from $1,000 to $1,250.

The district also chose to opt out of their current buy-up insurance plan, instead going with a base insurance plan. Persons within the district could originally pay a larger sum above their current premium for a lower deductible. That capability is no longer in place.

"[The base plan] is the most basic of the plans that our district has," Barnes said. "[With the buy-up plan,] there's more administration cost. We don't get as much bang for our buck. We just eliminated the buy-up plan."

A fourth tier was also added to the district's prescription drug coverage, including a 20 percent payout of no more than $120 per script on specialty drugs.

The balance within the R-2 healthcare fund has dropped steadily since June 2012, from $425,275.13 to $312,356.12 in July, to $304,771.50 in August, and currently sits at $297,140.90.

"That's the lowest that's been in quite some time," said R-2 board president David Meneely during the previous board meeting, on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

"Altogether, [the change] saves the district 7.24 percent," Barnes said. He said that he is hopeful that the savings will slow or reverse the decline within the healthcare fund.

"It's one of those things we've got to play by ear," he said. "The nice thing is, the board can lower premiums, or they can raise them to increase the fund balance."