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River Hills' budget up, but taxpayers should see little change in bills

Village changes health insurance provider, plan

Nov. 21, 2011

River Hills - Village residents will see a slight decrease in the village portion of their tax bill with the passage of the 2012 budget Nov. 16.

The budget is up 8.69 percent to $4.8 million from $4.4 million a year ago, but the levy is down slightly, 0.01 percent, to $2,936,775 from $2,936,991 leading to a one cent drop in the tax rate from $6.11 to a rate of $6.10 per $1,000 of assessed value.

"(A) River Hills taxpayer won't see any increases in their tax bills as a result of an decrease in the village levy," Village President Robert Brunner said.

Village Manager Tom Tollaksen said the main reason for the drop in the levy was the ability to restructure the health plan for employees.

"The primary change in the budget was the restructuring of the health insurance that was a major fact that allowed us to lower the levy," he said.

The village notified the state of its intent to withdraw from the state health plan earlier this fall. After adopting the budget last week, the board also approved a contract with UnitedHealthcare for a new health insurance plan.

Four employees attended the board meeting, anxious to learn what the insurance plan would be.

There are 22 employees eligible to participate in the plan but some had options to elect coverage through open enrollment in a spouse's plan

"I need to enroll by 5 p.m. Friday," said Police Lt. Todd Cowie, explaining his need to know the particulars of the village program.

After a closed session, the board adopted the UnitedHealthcare plan, which calls for a $2,000 deductible for each family member covered under the plan up to $6,000. The village will pay half the cost of the deductible.

Once the deductible is met, employees pay office and prescription deductibles, which they do not pay under the current plan. The premium cost for a family plan drops from $1,935 to $1,491 under the new plan.

The village cost will drop from $413,414 a year to $283,858 per year under the new plan.

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