Racine Educators Association, teachers oppose changes to district healthcare plan


Racine Unified School Board approved a change to some employees health care benefits, in an effort to save $1.25 million in net savings for the district.

The Racine Journal Times reports:

Effective in January, married employees in the district will see a change in the coverage. According to district officials, if an employee has a spouse who has access to health coverage through their employer, the district healthcare plan will be “secondary to the spouse’s coverage.”

“The idea is the spouse of the employee can still stay on the district’s insurance,” Hazen said. “What coordination of benefits, does it allows the better benefit to be in the minimum benefit the employee and spouse would need.”

The idea to go to a spousal cooperation type of plan was formed in Unified Board of Adjustments committee meetings. According to Hazen, this change will result in $1.25 million in net savings for the district.

Hazen explained further that the district healthcare plan would cover the difference in the deductible between the two plans.

Hazen did acknowledge that some employees might end up paying more, but other employees “would be better off because some spouses’ employers charge smaller amounts for a high-deductible plan.”

In the audience Monday were several teachers and members of the Racine Educators Association who, one by one, voiced their concerns during the public comment session of the meeting.

Angelina Cruz, president of REA, advocated that the School Board not approve the plan and send it back to the Board of Adjustments.

“The Racine Educators Association does not endorse the health care changes, spousal coordination of benefits being put forward by the BOA at this time,” Cruz said. “This is too much change for employees to understand in the time frame given. This is happening too fast to properly educate employees.”

For more on this story, visit Racine Journal Times.