Lisbon workers to pay their share of Obamacare

LISBON – Village workers covered by Lisbon’s health insurance plan will have to pay a bit more because of the Affordable Care Act.

Village Council voted at Tuesday’s meeting to require its workers pay a portion of four new fees being assessed against all group insurance providers starting in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare.

The village, like others, decided to pass some of the cost on to its employers rather than absorb the entire additional expense. Fiscal Office Tracey Wonner said since the village’s 22 full-time workers covered under their insurance plan pay 12.5 percent of their monthly premiums, they also will pay 12.5 percent of the fees.

The following is a list of the fees:

– $63 transitional reinsurance fee assessed against every worker and dependent covered under the village’s plan. The money is to be used by the federal government to help cover higher-than-expected costs for insurers offering coverage through the government-run health care exchanges.

– A market share fee of 2.4 percent of the monthly premium.

-A $2 fee per person insured, with the money used to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Created by Obamacare, PCORI is to use the money to perform clinical effectiveness research.

– A $1 risk-adjustment fee, also assessed against each person insured under the plan.

In other action, council voted to create the first-ever position of parks and pool manager and then agreed to begin accepting applications for the position through January.

This came one month after Councilman Joe Morenz presented a job description for the new position, which is to be part-time and pay $12 an hour. The person hired for this job would work more hours from May through Labor Day, when the community pool is open, and also be responsible for seeking recreation grants as part of the administrative duties.

In other matters. council followed the recommendation of its personnel committee and officially hired Robert Miller as a part-time worker in the street department, retroactive to Dec. 2, when he received the committee’s approval. Miller replaces Mel Bricker, who resigned in October to take another job. Miller will be paid $8.50 an hour.

A new employee pay ordinance was approved by council to reflect only two changes: the fact the minimum wage is increasing by a dime to $7.95 per hour, which will affect firefighters; and establishing a new pay rate for the village zoning/building inspector position.

The position previously paid $206 per month, plus a portion of permit fees, but a change in state law prohibits them from continuing to directly tie compensation to permit fees. The position will now pay $306 per month.

The other village employees last received a pay raise (3 percent) in February.

Finally, Morenz asked if anything could be done about the number of semi-trucks turning onto South Lincoln Avenue (before it becomes state Route 164) from West Lincoln Way, which is illegal, Police Chief Mike Abraham said officers have been positioned near the intersection, and he has personally written numerous tickets, costing at least one truck driver his job.

Councilwoman Mary Ann Gray, who was attending her last meeting after declining to seek re-election this year, took a moment to “thank the voters, who let me serve for nine years,” and her colleagues. “I wish you all the luck,” she told them.