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EB officials addressing insurance increases

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
East Brewton City Council members learned Monday night that the cost of health insurance for East Brewton city employees has increased to nearly $20,000 per year.
According to East Brewton Mayor Terry Clark, individual coverage for city employees will go up to $39 a month. To date, individual workers were paying $9.95 per week for insurance. City Clerk Karen Singleton said that 13 employees will be affected by the single coverage rates.
Under the family rate, city employees will pay $99 per month. They were originally paying $55.25 per month. Singleton said that 11 city employees under the family rate will be affected by the increase.
During the workshop, city council members and the mayor were trying to work out an affordable payment method for city employees.
According to Councilman Byron Palmer, the health insurance plan in East Brewton is &#8220the best insurance (plan) in this part of the country.”
It has been four years since the cost of health insurance has increased for city employees. It was said during Monday's administrative workshop that employees in 2002 didn't want to change plans. City officials were working out details that would allow city employees to keep what Singleton called &#8220the Cadillac of all plans.”
It was discussed during the workshop that under the single rate, the city would try to pick up $30 per month of the cost while the employee would only have to pay $9 of the additional charges, or $2.25 per week. Under the family rate, the city would try to pick up $60 and the employee would pay $39.
Details were going to be further discussed and Mayor Clark said that he would like to &#8220make a decision by the next City Council meeting.”
The next meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.