After working hard to give the intellectual stomach flu known as Ann DeLacy to the Howard County Board of Education, HCEA Paul Lemle is at it again. I'm going to guess that Sara Toth was doing her job when she wrote this article about Lemle and his latest round of complaining, about how much in health insurance premiums HCPSS employees pay as opposed to the county's contribution.
Using the numbers in Sara's article, in fiscal 2010 employees paid 15.6% of premiums, while in fiscal 2013, that number goes up to 18.9%. Oh, and by the by Paul, both the employees AND the county's contributions have gone up in terms of dollars, not gone down. Health insurance premiums tend to rise. Market forces and all.
But even at 18.9% of total premiums, that amount is much less, by percentage, than what most private sectors pay. For example, I work at an institution that's fairly well-known for the medical facilitities affiliated with it, and I pay, for my Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, about 26% of the premiums. And I'm going to bet that many of you pay a higher percentage. And, how about you small business people out there, who have to provide for your employees' coverage? Do you feel sympathy for the citizens of Planet Lemle?
Paul, here's a suggestion. Work on some HCEA-based initiatives like teacher-to-teacher mentoring. Maybe come to an agreement with the Superintendent on teacher appraisals and whatever other issues are there. But don't bawl like a toddler about the very nice deal your employees get from the county for your health insurance premiums. And be glad you're not negotiating with me. Because with every news article like the one I cited above, your employees would be paying two percentage points more.