D51 decides on Monument Health plan
By NATHAN DEAL
The Mesa County Valley School District 51 Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to move to single-option health insurance plan provided by Monument Health.
Monument Health’s coverage of District 51 employees will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
According to an evaluation of the proposed plan by Denver-based health care actuarial consulting firm Leif Associates, this plan will save district employees, including teachers and their families, as much as $3,500 on their health insurance annually and will allow the district to balance its budget by the end of 2023 and replenish its reserves through the savings.
“We’re obviously extremely pleased that we were able to come to the table with something that’s going to benefit not only the district but all of the teachers and administrative staff in our community,” said Monument Health Executive Director Ashley Thurow. “It’s an opportunity for the district to use its money to accomplish its mission of ‘engage, equip and empower.’ We want them using their money for our kids. I’m a parent with kids in the district. I want them spending money on my kids and on my kids’ teachers where they should and not on health care.”
The single-option plan will have one set of premiums and a multi-tiered benefit structure with Monument Health designated as the tier one network (or primary network). The plan will replace the district’s current dual-option plan, with many district staff members using Community Hospital for their health insurance.
The board’s approval of the resolution will allow the district’s Human Resources and Benefits departments to negotiate with Monument Health to finalize the benefit structure, monthly premiums for the plan, the tier benefit design and Open Enrollment details. The negotiation stage will also allow the parties to develop a transition plan for moving to Monument Health’s single-option plan.
Thurow is confident that negotiations will be swift and the structure of the single-option plan will be finalized in short order.
“I don’t anticipate that there’s going to be too much to work through,,” Thurow said. “I think we’re just going to get to a place where everyone’s comfortable and make sure we have a really good plan for continuity of care so any patients who are currently undergoing care, particularly for more intensive things, and how we’re going to ensure that they have a good transition.”