City of Ashland looks for new health plan

Ashland, Ore. – The city of Ashland has been self insured since 2013, but the cost to maintain that has become too high for the city and forced the budget into a deficit.

So the finance department has begun to look for other options. Five years ago when the city switched to self funding, it dropped its provider, CIS.

Now city leaders say going *back to the insurer may be the best option for the budget. CIS or city county insurance service allows the city of Ashland to pay into a pool of cities and counties outside of just their own making it easier to fund.

“Our claims experience is the terminology in the industry has been high and kind of remained consistently fairly high. So, we were at a spot where we had to look at do we continue with this self-insured model or do we look at going to a different sort of a model,” said Adam Hanks, interim city administrator.

The city says with this switch, the employee fee won’t go up for the first 18 months allowing those in need of coverage time to adjust. However, it doesn’t know what the long term affect will be on premiums.

The city council will vote tonight on whether or not to move forward with the new plan.

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