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Aldermen opt to seek new worker insurance

Monticello is shopping for new insurance on its employees and ahistoric building.

“I would like to begin shopping our health insurance,” MayorDavid Nichols informed aldermen Tuesday.

The mayor did not cite specific reasons for his desire for newinsurance, although later he mentioned the rising costs of premiumsthe town has experienced in the past and how they have often beenable to lower those premiums by rebidding the insurancecontract.

The mayor did say he did not agree with the way a certainelement of the current policy was handled.

“One thing this company is doing that I really don’t like is”basing spousal age on the employee, Nichols said.

For example, he said, a 50-year-old employee has a 35-year-oldwife. When the employee adds his wife to the policy, the premiumreflects a 50-year-old spouse in terms of what the employee mustpay to add his spouse to the policy.

Nichols also suggested that while shopping its insurance thetown consider raising the current $500 deductible to a $1,000 tolower monthly premiums.

“If you do go to the doctor and are admitted, you’ll hit the$1,000, $2,000 in no time anyway. So why not do something to lowerour monthly premiums,” he said.

With little discussion, aldermen approved the town to seekbetter health insurance.

Aldermen also agreed to raise the amount of insurance on theLawrence County Civic Center. The center was formerly MonticelloHigh School.

Nichols said he was notified after Hurricane Katrina that thecivic center was underinsured by its carrier.

The prior board did that deliberately to save money, he said,because there were no plans to rebuild it should it become severelydamaged.

However, with improvements made to the building by the city andvolunteer groups, such as the Lawrence County Historical Societyand civic center committee, Nichols believed it was time to fullyinsure the building.

Buildings are typically insured at 80 percent of their value,which would raise the cost of insuring the civic center from$350,000 to between $450,000 and $550,000, he said.