But when the town manager received notification this month from Aetna Insurance Co., the town's carrier, about its new rates, he was "extremely disappointed." The company increased the town's premium by 35 percent, reflecting about a $60,000 increase in costs.
The town has bounced among insurance providers over the years in an attempt to lower health costs for the town's 35 employees.
That was the case last year when the town changed from Harvard Pilgrim to Aetna and the reason the town changed from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Harvard Pilgrim the previous year. Competitive rates are given the first year, but major hikes are reflected in subsequent years.
"We're running out of providers," Simpson said Friday. The town currently funds 100 percent of the cost of family coverage for employees hired before 1998. Those hired since 1998 who qualify for health insurance coverage receive single-subscriber coverage and pay for medical coverage of family members out of pocket.
Simpson told the Town Council Thursday that the family rate increased this year from $616 to $837 a month. In addition, the rate for a couple increased from $451 to $612 and the rate for a single subscriber jumped from $226 to $306 a month.
The added cost for health premiums, an increase in the local share of school costs and increases in utilities and heating oil have increased the municipal budget by $250,000, Simpson said.
At this week's meeting, the Town Council sold two tax-acquired properties to the highest bidders. Kenneth Huynh of Dover-Foxcroft was awarded 10.1 acres of land and a 1996 double-wide mobile home on Zions Hill Road for a bid of $32,200.
Matt McKusick of Dexter, who bid $6,652, was awarded 31.2 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the Owlsboro Road.
In other business, Maurice Neal was appointed to the appeals board and Barbara Whitney was appointed to the downtown planning committee.
Community clean-up days were set for May 18-19. It is expected that the school district and local businesses will help in this endeavor.
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