History of Employer Contributions
Several facts of life exist in the insurance industry and certainly our Fund is no exception. Medical trend, the cost of providing/receiving medical care rises much quicker than any other inflationary indicator. The annual average medical trend for our insurance Fund over the last 14 years was 9.64%. Naturally some years were higher and some lower. Negotiating increases for the employer contribution helps offset these increases. The balancing act the Board of Trustees is faced with, is when employer contributions don’t keep up with medical inflation, the results are declining reserves, rising premiums and/or reducing benefits.
Below are the increases we have received in the employer contribution rate each year for the last 16 years
2003 10% + $200,000 Lump Sum 2011 7%
2004 13% + $200,000 Lump Sum 2012 0%
2005 13% 2013 0%
2006 13.5% 2014 0%
2007 12% 2015 3%
2008 12% 2016 3%
2009 7% 2017 3%
2010 7% 2018 3%
Other problems the Fund has faced over the last 7 years was a multi-year hiring freeze which hurt the Fund by not bringing in new employees and thus new revenues; and 3 years with no increases to the employer contribution rate. During the 5 year period of 2011-2015 the Fund experienced a drop of nearly 50% in its reserves due to the lack of increased revenues and continued growth of the medical trend at an average of 9.64% each year. 2016 saw premium increases along with changes in benefits in order to stabilize the Fund.
Since 2015 the employer has only increased its contribution by 3% each year with the medical trend continuing as noted above. Future changes to premiums and benefits may be likely if medical trends continue as in the past and the employer contributions don’t keep pace, but so far the changes enacted in 2016 have helped tremendously.