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YISD employees could pay thousands more in health insurance
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- Employees in the Ysleta Independent School District could pay thousands more for their health insurance under a new plan.
The school district would not give KFOX14 any information about the proposed rate increases because it said it is presenting that information at a YISD board of trustees meeting Wednesday.
The Ysleta Teachers Association said the board of trustees presented the proposed increases at a workshop meeting Monday. The teachers association put together a spreadsheet of how much more it expects employees to pay based on information from that meeting.
"We've got people that are making $15,000 a year. Do you think they can afford this for their families? That means they'd leave their check at the district," Ysleta Teachers Association President Arlinda Valencia said.
Valencia said the school district is trying to push employees away from health insurance "Plan A," the current most popular plan. She feels that is because it wants employees to move to "Plan C," which she said has lower monthly payments but a drastically higher deductible.
According to the teachers association's estimates, employees could have to pay a $3,000 deductible under Plan C before monthly payments kick in. The teachers association also said the district could raise monthly payments under Plan A more than $100 a month for a single employee and more than $300 a month for an employee and his or her family.
Valencia said this could be a disaster for some, even with a pay raise employees received this summer.
"You get a 2 percent raise, and you're going up 200 percent on your insurance premiums. You just said goodbye to your pay raise and hello to more cost," Valencia said.
YISD Director of Public Relations Patricia Ayala sent KFOX14 the following statement:
"YISD is dedicated to keeping health care affordable for all employees. YISD is self-insured and is currently exploring different options and making adjustments for the three plans currently offered by the district. Due to increased health care costs and increased utilization of the plan, we have to adjust the insurance plans, the district contribution, and employee contribution.
A presentation will be made to the board of trustees Sept. 11, and we anticipate board action by the end of this month."
Valencia said the teachers association is encouraging district employees to talk to school board members about how this could affect them.