Some might say it's a sickening fact. Health insurance premiums are on the rise. This year taking a nearly 16 million dollar chunk out of the Bay District School's budget
"Health insurance premiums keep rising. They've almost doubled in the last ten years. And that's one of our fixed costs, that if we don't figure out how to get control of it, it's going to get control of us," says Superintendent Bill Husfelt.
According to Superintendent Bill Husfelt, back in 2003, health insurance premiums were about 3,800 dollars per person. This year it's nearly 8,000 dollars per person. To address this growing cost, Superintendent Bill Husfelt will recommend an on-site health clinic for Bay District Employees.
"Its a health benefit to them, but it's also going to pay dividends to us because we'll have healthier employees. They'll miss fewer days from work, and well also drive down the cost of our insurance premiums," says Husfelt.
The clinic would be located at the Robert Young Center on 15th Street, and whoever is on the district's insurance plan can take advantage of the clinic's services.
"If they do not have a regular doctor to go to then they can go to this clinic. It's going to be free for them to go to. They can make appointments online. It's just for bay district employees so it's a short wait," says Diane Wishart, president of the ABCE Teacher's Union.
For teachers, the clinic will help them stay healthy and preempt any costly ER visits.
"With teachers or employees using it, then they don't prolong not going. Then they don't put off a major issue and end up going to the emergency room because... the emergency room costs a lot more than a doctor's visit," says Wishart.
Husfelt says once the clinic is fully implemented, it is expected to save more than a million dollars a year, and pay for itself within two.
If the School Board approves Husfelt's recommendation on Tuesday, the clinic could be open as soon as January.