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Lanesville school trustees look at health insurance plans

It was nearly standing-room only at the beginning of the Lanesville Community School Corp. board of trustees meeting last Tuesday evening. Many attendants were there as part of presentations being given to the board, including Youth Philanthropy in Indiana and students hoping to use a physics class Rube Goldberg project in a contest at Purdue University.
Another presentation was given by the school corporation’s insurance agent, Rick Kochert of Kochert Insurance. Kochert said the Lanesville policy renewal with Anthem just occurred on Jan. 1, but the rates for Humana were competitive enough he believed he should present them to the board so they could know their options.
Kochert said he chose a plan with Humana that was as similar to the current plan with Anthem as he could get but noted there were still differences. In the end, Kochert said Humana’s plan could save the school corporation up to $38,000.
‘In no way am I trying to push the Humana plan,’ Kochert said, stressing to the board that his intent was to simply show them their options. He also said he knew that the teachers had some concerns with switching to a new plan.
Brian Book, president of the Lanesville Education Association, told the board that the teachers have had two meetings with representatives from Humana and Anthem, and many teachers had issues with things a switch to Humana could mean, like changes in network coverage, an increase in the co-payment for specialists and an increase in the maximum out-of-pocket expense for one year, to name a few.
Donald Hussung, board president, said his concerns about switching health care providers is more a contract issue. He said the teachers’ contracts expressly prohibits any change that isn’t exact. Plans can only be switched if the new plan has the ‘exact same’ benefits and coverage.
‘The wording is what the wording is,’ Hussung said.
He said he wasn’t against the new plan, but he was against making a decision that night. No motion was made on the issue.
In other matters, the board:
‘ Heard a report from high school principal Janet Page regarding the spring intersession. Page said there were 100 students participating the intersession, nine teachers and two bus drivers. While some are voluntary, Page said there were ‘quite a bit of invitation’ students, as well.
‘ Approved the following March intersession contracts: teachers ‘ Jerry Geswein, Jeff Hammond, Lisa Hammond, Bethany Miller, Brian Book, Robin Wolfe, Erin Green, Heather Brandt and Veronica Hobbs; bus drivers ‘ Richard Haines and David Schmelz. The board also approved authorization to pay peer tutors for the March intersession.
‘ Heard the second reading of the new corporation travel policy, which amended the reimbursement rate to follow the current IRS rate. A motion was made and passed to approve the policy.
‘ Approved the receipt of the Harrison County Community Foundation grant, in the amount of $16,400. This money will go toward sixth- through eighth-grade English classes, Success Center operation and an accelerated math program.
‘ Approved the receipt of the Target rebate, in the amounts of $119.55 for the high school and $179.82 for the elementary school.
‘ Approved a $20 donation from The Farmers State Bank and a $30 donation from Hay Day Farms for the high school Brain Drain contest.
‘ Approved the overnight trip of Robin Morgan’s physics class to Purdue University April 4 and 5, to participate in the Rube Goldberg contest. Students had to construct a device that would build a hamburger, from start to finish, in less than 20 steps and under two minutes. Lanesville students were invited directly to a national level since there were no local competitions near this area.
‘ Renewed technology director Paul Hancock’s contract and increased it from 204 days to 230 days. Sam Gardner, the school corporation’s interim superintendent, said minutes from a school board meeting more than a year ago indicated a suggestion to lengthen the contract then, but the issue hadn’t been raised since.
‘He’s putting in the time,’ Gardner said.
‘He does a heck of a job for us,’ Hussung said. ‘His service is invaluable.’