November 4, 2020 – West Bend, WI – There will be a public hearing Monday, November 9 prior to the West Bend Common Council voting on a tax increase for 2021.
As the City of West Bend works to hammer out a 2021 budget there have been a lot of questions regarding health insurance and how much employees pay, what sort of coverage they receive, and how much taxpayers are kicking in.
Michelle Hoey heads up the City of West Bend human resources department and she provided the bullet points below.
- Health insurance for a single non-union employee is $128 per month with a $2,500 deductible in network
- On a percentage basis in 2020 the employee is paying 19% for coverage and taxpayers are paying 81%
- The new 2021 proposal bumps single coverage up $10 to $138 a month however the single employee will now pay 17% and 83% will be covered by taxpayers
- Health insurance for a family non-union coverage is $250 per month for 2020 with a $5,000 deductible in network
- On a percentage for a family the employee is paying 14% of the premium and the taxpayers are covering 86%
- The new 2021 proposal for a family jumps $20 to $270 a month however the family is now paying 13% and 87% will be covered by taxpayers.
A couple of side notes:
The overall health insurance budget for 2020 in the general fund $2,370,180 and across accounts was $2,818,662.
The proposed health insurance budget for 2021 in the general fund is $2,260,920 and the overall is $3,073,734.
The City of West Bend does not have a spousal surcharge. That proposal to help cover some of the costs was made by Dist. 8 alderwoman Meghann Kennedy during the October 12, 2020 meeting. According to Hoey that idea may be considered in 2022. “A spousal surcharge is an additional fee or premium that an employee is required to pay if his or her spouse has an alternative source for healthcare coverage through their own employer, yet elects to be added to the employee’s plan.” Per McClone.com
The City health insurance plan covers medical and prescription drug coverage.
The employee pays for their own for dental and vision. The City doesn’t cover that.
The health insurance proposal and the remaining 2021 budget still need to be approved by council. The public hearing on the matter is November 9, 2020 followed by the final adoption of the budget for 2021.
During Monday night’s meeting the proposed tax increase was dropped from a .09 cent increase to .08 which brings the proposed tax rate to $7.93. That is a $248,000 increase from 2020’s budget total of $24,246,478.
The 2021 total budget and accompanying details were not part of tonight’s agenda packet.
District 8 alderwoman Meghann Kennedy was the only council member to make a statement following the 2021 budget proposal.
“Thank you for the hard work on the budget. Thank you I did see we got a few changes in there trying to lower that 5% levy increase we’re facing this year which will amount to an .08 cent tax increase but I do just want to reiterate to my constituents that due to COVID I understand their struggle and I do not support increasing taxes at this time in the City of West Bend. I do want to see a flat tax rate to last year.”
District 5 alderman Jed Dolnick asked if she had any suggestions and Kennedy pointed to the two pages of suggestions she offered during the October 12, 2020 meeting.
Click HERE to watch tonight’s meeting.
Portions of the 2021 budget will go to pay raises, health insurance and the WBPD has requested over $92,000 for body cameras, among other things. Click HERE for details.