As you may have heard, the Gateway Services Community Development District staff have a pretty good health insurance plan.

Better yet, at least for the staff, Gateway residents are paying 100% of the premiums.

From May 1, 2015 until April 30, 2016 the residents will pay $9,215 per employee in premiums. Next year premiums are expected to rise 13.3% to $10,441 per employee.

Supervisor Rod Senior will be presenting a plan at the GSCDD meeting on July 23, 2015 that would see the staff begin to pay a share of the cost.

Senior’s plan is modeled off Lee County’s employee health insurance plan, under which county staff members contribute $30.62 per month toward their $832.62 per month premium. That works out to the employee paying 3.7% of their premium.

For the GSCDD, Senior is proposing each staff member pay $40.00 out of the $870.08 premium beginning May 1, 2016. That comes out to 4.6% of premiums for the employee.

The two plans are roughly comparable.

On April 27, 2015 the Sun proposed that the staff should pay 10% of their premiums to begin with and have their cost share increase 10% per year until a 50/50 split was reached. However, based on how Lee County (and the City of Fort Myers too from what we can tell) handles their employee health insurance it would seem that Senior’s plan is the one that’s in line with other local governments.

The five Supervisors will likely vote on Senior’s plan at this Thursday’s Board meeting. Should they vote in favor of the $40 per month contribution toward premiums, it will be a small victory for the residents of Gateway.

It’s not known when the last time district staff contributed toward their own health insurance – or if they ever have. So while 4.6% is far lower than we’d like to see, it’s a start.

It does translate to a $480 cost per year to each employee. Just as importantly, it shows the Supervisors are listening to the residents and attempting to be fair to all parties.

With all the other problems the community is facing, it will be nice to be able to move on from this issue.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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