Fulton Hoping to Find Health Insurance Savings

Fulton city lawmakers are betting that spending $8,000 will produce much larger savings.

They recently approved a plan to hire a company to perform an audit of its health insurance.

The city is self-insured for its employees’ health benefits, meaning it pays the bills directly.  The city carries a supplemental policy that insures them against the largest health insurance claims, for catastrophic illnesses.

“Medical has grown by $400,000 every year,” said Mayor Ron Woodward. “We haven’t had an audit since 2003 and it’s about time we did.”

The audit will search for ways to save money on benefits.

Over the last few years, the city has cut jobs and reduced spending on everything except contracted health benefits and mandatory pension contributions to the state.  It recently negotiated new contracts with its unions that include higher employee health benefit contributions.

The company performing the audit will charge the city no more than $8,000.  Woodward said that other companies take a percentage of any savings, which could drive the city’s bill for the audit much higher.

“Everything might be fine,” Woodward said of the audit’s potential findings. “Not suggesting it isn’t, but it’s better to know.”