Rochester Hills opts out of state-imposed benefits

Rochester Hills City Council on Monday, October 8, voted to opt out of state-imposed medical benefit plan contribution limits for public employees.

Rochester Hills Director of Human Resources Pamela Gordon said council has chosen in the past to opt out of the limits, which are imposed through Public Act 152.

Public Act 152 requires a minimum employee contributions of 20 percent of total annual medical benefit plan costs, or a "hard cap." However, local city councils may opt-out of the limits by a super-majority vote.

Gordon said employees are currently offered a core, employer-funded high deductible HMO medical plan, along with city contributions to employee health savings accounts. Employees may also buy up to traditional HMO, PPO and HD/PPO plans by paying the monthly premium difference.

She said the plan is consistent with the city's compensation philosophy and allows employees not to be burdened with a monthly premium for core coverage, a plan that was implemented in 2011. Gordon also said general employees and firefighter unions are in the process of contract negotiations, and neither have proposed changes to the health care plans. Further, Gordon said healthcare premiums are dropping about 8.9 percent.

The city's core plan strategy has met city council's target set in 2013 of meeting five percent annual health insurance renewals, with the exception of 2018, due to premium taxes implemented that year.

Council members unanimously approved opting out of the benefit plan.

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