By Hailey Persinger
Killeen Daily Herald
Members of Killeen's city employee insurance committee will begin to wade through proposals from insurers next week in hopes of finding a less expensive option than its current provider.
Just as the 4 p.m. deadline ticked by on Friday, Brian Supak, Killeen's purchasing manager, announced the names of 13 companies that submitted proposals for coverage of the city's employees. Though the city's purchasing department keeps a list of companies that ask to be contacted when the need for proposals arises, not all the companies on the list submitted one. Some responded, instead, to ads and announcements on the city's Web site.
The list includes big name health plans like Aetna, BlueCross/BlueShield and Humana but insurance companies from Killeen and across the state also sent in proposals. These include Higginbotham and Associates based in Waco, BKWC Insurance Agency in Killeen and Entrust, Inc. based in Houston.
"At this point we'll go to committee for evaluation," Supak said. According to city guidelines, figures and proposals could not be presented during Friday's open meeting. Since each proposal includes different benefits and varying costs, reading of cost proposals would not be effective, Supak said on Sept. 11.
Instead, the purchasing department will forward all proposals to human resources, where Debbie Maynor, executive director of human resources, said she will sift through every proposal. All 13 sets of paperwork will then hit the desks of insurance committee members who will narrow down the list to what they believe are the best plans.
"We'll probably summarize the information if it's too cumbersome," she said, "so they don't have to go through pages of information."
The proposal process began Aug. 18 after the City Council decided to look for less expensive companies to insure city workers. Scott & White, the city's current insurer, raised premiums an average of 27 percent, a spike that infuriated employees who could no longer afford to insure their families. Council members voted last month to extend its contract with Scott & White through October under the previous rates.
Maynor said the insurance committee will review the proposals Sept. 23.
She expects the council to vote on a plan Sept. 29.
Contact Hailey Persinger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568.