Fargo Considers Adding Contraceptive Coverage to Grandfathered Health Plan – InForum

FARGO — Fargo City Commissioner John Strand has asked the city to consider including birth control coverage in the employee health plan.

Fargo’s “grandfather’s” health insurance plan allows the city to bypass the federal requirement for contraceptive coverage.

At the city commission meeting on Monday, July 11, Strand said he hoped they could weigh the pros and cons and get a sense of whether it’s realistic to expand the city’s health insurance plan.

“In view of the dissolution of Roe v. Wade through the Supreme Court, I think we are compelled to know what impact this is having on our workforce,” Strand said.

“Are there any gaps in the services families will come? … Is there a desire for contraceptive protection?” he asked. “I want the public to know that we are paying attention to these issues.”

Jill Minette, director of human resources, said the city’s health insurance is offered through Blue Cross Blue Shield. The stock plan, adopted in 2018, was modeled on the public employee pension scheme’s plan and did not include prevention, she said.

The plan is reviewed annually, Minette said, noting that city officials have asked about oral contraceptives in the past.

In reviewing options to increase contraceptive and other coverage in recent years, she said, the city found that it would mean a 10% increase in premiums, in addition to an increase of about 15% in recent years .

“It really begs the question of what the city budget can support and what individual employees who are enrolled in our health insurance can support,” she said.

Minette noted that there are additional benefits to switching to a plan with higher coverage, such as: B. increased prevention and other benefits.

Commissioner Arlette Preston asked Commissioner Denise Kolpack, a former Blue Cross Blue Shield executive, if she was aware of any studies comparing the cost of unplanned pregnancies to contraceptive coverage.

Kolpack said she has not seen such a study.

Increasing employee benefits may have unintended consequences, she added, such as losing the city map’s grandfather status.

Health insurance is “one of the biggest expenses that citizens pay in the general budget,” Kolpack noted.

Minette said early estimates for 2023 premiums would likely be available in August or September, at which point the city may be evaluating options. No action was taken at Monday’s meeting.

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