City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
“We have scrutinized every expenditure to save tax dollars during this year’s preparation for the next City budget. It is gratifying to see our efforts have resulted in positive gains for taxpayers and City employees,” said Lincoln Mayor Coleen J. Seng in announcing that Lincoln City government and its employees will save $1 million annually in health insurance costs in a deal negotiated by the City Personnel Department.
Earlier this spring, the City advertised for a new employee health insurance contract with the intention of seeking lower costs. After reviewing the ten companies that responded to the bid, Mayor Seng selected Coventry, a national health insurance provider, which will become Lincoln City government’s provider on November 1, 2005.
Coventry provides health insurance to companies such as Union Pacific, LI-COR, Nebraska Furniture Mart, ConAgra, First Data and Creighton University Medical Center. According to Seng, Coventry’s plan is identical to the current City plan but at a lower cost.
“The City and employees will see a 6.1 percent reduction in the premiums they pay for health insurance,” Seng said. “While health insurance costs have been on the rise nationally, we actually negotiated lower rates. The reduction of rates will save the City taxpayers more than $1 million through lower premiums. This will be a great benefit to City government taxpayers and our employees. The savings will be applied toward next year’s City budget and help the City avoid a property tax rate increase and deep service cuts.”
The new health insurance plan will save about $600,000 in the City general tax fund and an additional $400,000 from other non-property tax funds for coverage of the approximately 1,833 employees in the City’s plan.
Mayor Seng said the new health insurance contract will have a positive effect on the City budget that she will release next week. “We can now focus more of our resources on the services that improve our community’s quality of life,” she said.