By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
Finalizing old business and discussing options for health insurance were a few of the topics the Port Isabel City Commissioners discussed at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Previously discussed items that were approved and passed included the annual budget and tax rates; continuation of funding for the SPI Wave free public transportation system; the authorization of expenditures for promotions and events of a tourist welcome and information center by the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce; and project funds by the Port Isabel EDC for operations and maintenance of the Port Isabel Museums for the 2019 – 2020 fiscal year.
A large portion of the meeting concerned the selection of an insurance plan for city employees. Representatives were on hand from Valley Risk Insurance, the agency of record for the City of PI, to discuss options for the city’s employee health insurance. The previous year, insurance was provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield, but this year they were showing a substantial rate increase of 23 percent.
Jonathan Sakulenzki, the insurance representative handling the presentation, offered a few reasons for the hefty hike by BCBS to the cost of premiums, saying “The membership of employees in the city has dropped, so that increases the risk. There’s also a lot of pending group factors as far as RX prescription drugs that have increased and spiked.”
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