Assembly, School Board Discuss Insurance Options


Diana Gish/KMXT

When the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly and Board of Education met together for a work session on Tuesday, they discussed the possibility of pursuing joint insurance coverage.

Assemblywoman Pat Branson requested that the issue be placed on the agenda.

(Insurance 1 :38 "Insurance as it … outside the box.")

The borough and the City of Kodiak are part of a state insurance group that’s managed by the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association. The school district has a self-insured plan.

Superintendent Stewart MacDonald shared information received from the district’s insurance broker regarding the possibility of a merger. He said that adding more people to an insurance pool doesn’t guarantee that insurances costs will go down and can actually be more costly.

MacDonald also explained that the district’s current policy is the result of long-term negotiations with its health insurance committee.

(Insurance 2 :45 "We have our ….collaborative owned process.")

Branson responded to the superintendent’s concerns and then went on to share an example of an insurance program for non-profits in Alaska.

(Insurance 3 :45 "And we’re looking … they’re doing it.")

She urged those gathered at the meeting to hire a consultant to explore the matter further.

School Board President Norm Wooten stressed that another step needs to be taken before that can happen.

(Insurance 4 :47 "We’re dealing with … than an afterthought.")

Assemblywoman Judy Fulp expressed concern about "breaking something" that may be working well.

Fulps said that changes to federal health care laws need to be examined before jumping in with new insurance plans.

Assemblywoman Louise Stutes urged the school district to broach the subject with their insurance committee. She felt that it may not be necessary to hire a consultant at this stage of the discussion. Selby suggested that manager Rick Gifford also speak with stakeholders in the borough.


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