Human Resources Committee Meeting Minutes Thursday, December 5, 2019

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Human Resources Committee Meeting held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. in the Commission Meeting Room,.

Human Resources Committee Minutes 12-5-19 with Attachments

To read the minutes, please open or download the pdf from the link above, or you may see more below.

Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Commission Meeting Room

Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 10:30 AM 

HUMAN RESOURCES & SAFETY COMMITTEE MINUTES

PRESENT:                           

Donald Elliott, Committee Chairman

Cornell Harvey, Commissioner                                           

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director 

ALSO PRESENT:               

Ben Turnipseed, Commission Chairman

Bob Duncan, Commissioner

Catina Tindall, First Coast Benefits Solutions, Inc.

Daphne Gable, Teamwork Services Inc.

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

MEDIA:                                

Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News

Chairman Elliott called the meeting to order at 10:33 AM.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

There being no citizens that wished to address the Committee, Chairman Elliott closed the Public Comment Period.

 APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from November 13, 2019 Human Resources Committee Meeting

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to approve the minutes from the November 13, 2019 Human Resources Committee Meeting.  Motion carried 3-0-0.

DISCUSSION

  1. Health Care Plans – D. Elliott / C. Tindall

Commissioner Elliott commented that today’s meeting would focus on the health care plans for the next year.  There has not been any information provided as of yet by United Healthcare as to what JWSC might be offered but it is hoped that some information may be available by the end of the month.  He further noted that the healthcare did need to be looked at more closely than it has been in the past years, and in managing the healthcare dollars and processes.  Commissioner Elliott advised that this totaled 8% of JWSC’s total budget, is the second highest cost for the organization and is very important to look at.  He added that JWSC currently pays 90% of the healthcare cost for employees only and the employee picks up the other 10%.  The other categories the employee pays 20% and JWSC pays 80% of the total.  It was noted that in the previous there were a few very high claims which did cost our healthcare to incur a big increase and become very expensive.  The Commission need to take a look at how this can be better managed.  Commissioner Elliott advised that JWSC does want to ensure that the workforce goes to the doctor when they need care.  JWSC does not need problems growing so that the employee gets sicker and then JWSC winds up with higher health care to manage something that could have been managed in the early stages.  He added that there may not be high enough participation in wellness care, which is something that employees should be encouraged to do, participate in wellness care and benefits.

Catina Tindall provided that at the current time JWSC offers three health care benefit plans to the employees:  a $1,500 deductible, a $3,500 deductible, and a health care savings plan with a $5,000 deductible.  She noted that there are only 5 of the staff on the health savings plan, and that is perhaps due to their not being sure exactly how it works or the $5,000 deductible causes them to avoid it.  Ideally the plan is to keep costs stable or drive them down by getting the group to get healthier.  Out of the 126 JWSC employees on the United Healthcare plans offered by JWSC, 16 are on the $1,500 deductible plan, 105 are on the $3,500 deductible plan, and 5 are on the H.S.A plan.

Ms. Tindall stated that the renewal date for 2020 is March 1st.  Renewal information will be available no later than 60 days prior to renewal, but she will provide it as quickly as possible and plans to have multiple meetings with staff to ensure that the data is clearly understood and there is the best possible outcome.

From the data that was provided for review from this current year of 2019, there was only about 8 months of claims information available.  At that time, very few employees had met their full deductible on all plans offered combined, which was less than 10 at the time of report.  Other data that was provided for review related to Payments by Benefit Type, which did not provide any personal employee information, just total payment amounts.  Managed Pharmacy Plan Performance Detail for the period of 9-1-2018 through 10-1-2019 was provided by Tier level, and also by either Retail or Home Delivery methods and provided the number of claimants, number of prescriptions filled and the ingredient cost paid amount.  This data basically gives the Commissioners an idea of where the healthcare dollars were spent and where the claims are including the types of prescriptions which can possible be a piece of data for forecasting.

There was some discussion relating to an additional wellness program offered that would be offered along with the typical wellness visits with their doctor.  The basics are checked and documented on this wellness check for recommended changes to make along with an action plan, which can help the employees to become more healthy and is a benefit overall.  Commissioner Duncan provided some discussion with a wellness program he was familiar with from a previous company.  Commissioner Neal offered that the County is currently involved with a wellness program.  These are believed to be effective in the overall health of the staff along with improving productivity and keeping other costs down from better maintenance of health conditions.  Mr. Burroughs also provided commentary on a previous wellness program that he was familiar with.  After some additional discussion pertaining to wellness checks and the benefits of the organization taking part in this type of program, it was decided that more information should be gathered for consideration to offer to the organization.

Ms. Tindall indicated that moving to this type of a wellness program may not make immediate changes noticeable, however it would become a part of discussion within the staff with possible long term savings and health benefits.

H.R.A. programs were also discussed where once the employee meets the first $2,500 deductible and then the employer pays to net $2,500 deductible.  There are still some remaining co-pays paid after he total deductible has been met for example.  The differences between H.R.A. and H.S.A. accounts were briefly mentioned.  Additional options were discussed in ways in which there can be savings for the employees and the company as well.  There is still more firm data that needs to be gathered in order to provide information and discussions with the staff to help ensure that they have a better understanding.

Commissioner Elliott requested to being able to look at the higher cost surgeries and expenses that have been done and are to be done in the future, and investigate having these procedures and operations done out of the country in an effort for the company to save money on the output of money from the insurance company and therefore out of the pocket of the employer.  Mrs. Tindall recommended receiving counsel on this type of process and the legalities along with the liabilities and issues that could be problematic in the case of something going wrong.

Mr. Burroughs asked the Commissioners to provide some ideas that they would to consider, and allow him to get a few focus groups together to discuss these ideas prior to renewal to help avoid changes being presented to the employees at the time of renewal without having had a chance for their input previous to the changes.  He would like to go to the groups and provide a few options the Commission is considering and ask the staff what their initial thoughts are on those options.  Commissioner Duncan advised that the big driver in his opinion was an increase in a wellness plan.  If employees are healthier they are better contributors at work and at home. Mrs. Tindall asked for advice on the results of the focus group meetings.

Commissioner Harvey requested to make a brief commentary on the previous discussion on pension plans.  He stated that seeing that he was the only person who really had some issues with the vesting part and after careful review and taking another look at it, he thinks that would probably be a better deal for our employees.  He believes it will take some time for people to get used to it with attrition and so forth when people actually retire, with the people buying in and so forth he does think that it would be a good plan to do.  The plan as recommended by Mr. Burroughs including the grandfathering in of current employees on the plan.  This plan would really be good. He believes this company is doing well and pays the employees well too, and if we are going to be the Cadillac then we need be the Cadillac and stop trying to nickel and dime our employees.  We have great employees and we should treat them as such, and I think that would something that would give the incentive for people to continue on with this company.  Commissioner Harvey added that after careful review and looking at it going forward, and considering the future of the organization versus what we have right now it would be best that we go with the plan that Mr. Burroughs presented to us.

With no further business to discuss, Committee Chairman Elliott adjourned the meeting at

11:30 a.m.