Section 24. Change in Employee Benefit Plans
24.1 New Plans
During the term of this Memorandum of Understanding, the County and the Unions shall convene the Benefits Committee for the following purposes:
- To continue ongoing discussions regarding cost structures as a part of an overall strategy to maintain balanced enrollment in County plans,
- To investigate the feasibility of revising medical and/or dental coverage and/or plan(s and strategies to integrate wellness program participation into benefit insurance cost structure, and
- To address legislative changes to health insurance legislation, including, but not limited to, the Affordable Care Act.
The Benefits Committee will be composed of County and labor representatives, not to exceed two (2) representatives from each participating labor organization and four (4) County representatives.
24.2 Benefits Levels
During the term of this agreement, the County agrees to continue all benefit programs at current benefit levels as listed in the MOU and the Benefit Summary.
24.3 Agreement Implementation
Agreements reached as part of the Benefits Committee may be implemented outside of negotiations if employee organizations representing a majority of employees agree, providing, however, all employee organizations are given an opportunity to meet and confer regarding such agreements.
24.4 Health Plan Changes
Health plan changes that are initiated by the health plan based on either legislative/ regulatory changes or health plan organization policy changes are provided to employers each year. These changes are typically not significant in terms of the number of individuals who are impacted by the change. For instance, they do not often include co-pay changes for outpatient or inpatient physician or facility services, prescription drug or other major plan design co-pays. Where health plans initiate these kinds of changes to the contract, Employee Benefits will share with labor the specific changes health plans are communicating at the time of renewal, before implementing the changes. Where the changes may be eliminated by the employer purchasing, at additional cost, a rider to cover the benefit, it is the County’s desire to implement such changes without riders to keep its design in conformance with the health plans’ book of business design, provided however, it will first meet and confer with the Union on any such matter.
24.5 Health Insurance Tax and Legislation Reopener
Upon the County or the Union’s request, the County and Union shall reopen the issue of payment of any taxation assessed against employers in association with employer health insurance contributions, any changes to healthcare legislation, or other taxation resulting from future healthcare legislation.
24.6 Benefit Booklets
The County agrees to receive and discuss any suggestions the Unions may have for improvement of the booklets or folders describing various employee benefits provided by the County.