Why the changes to the health-benefit plan?

As detailed in the previous HealthConnect article “The JHMB and You: Where we’ve been, where we’re headed,” providing healthcare benefits for the more than 25,000 people participating in the FUSD plans is an extreme challenge. Accounting for medical inflation and challenging economic conditions while balancing proper care and affordability is more than merely “challenging”; instead, it’s nothing short of a “perfect storm.”

“We’ve had great success in keeping control of costs while providing the benefits our plan participants need. And we’ve done so well with this that we’ve been able to keep premiums from changing for more than five years, all in an environment where costs are increasing rapidly,” said Ruthie Quinto, JHMB Co-Chair and Management representative.

“But challenging times require us to meet that challenge,” added Brenda Emerson, JHMB Alternate Co-Chair and FTA Representative. “With input from all of the JHMB’s component groups, with input from unions, management and members, the JHMB has worked hard to develop the new plan. We believe the new plan will help us achieve the goal of continuing to deliver the benefits our participants need, all at the most affordable rates available.”

Ruthie added that despite the increase in out-of-pocket costs for plan participants, premiums for the FUSD’s health plans still remain far lower than those charged by many public and private entities in the Fresno area, including those of other school districts. “The reality is we’ve been able to keep costs in the new plans lower than those of other districts,” she said. “That’s a real testament to how hard the JHMB works for our participants.”

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