Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about our health care fund. We want to assure you that:
1. Employees are, and have been, great stewards of their health care;
2. Claim rates for our employees have been and continue to be well below the industry norm every year.
3. No employee has ever missed a payment into the health care fund. Every two weeks like clockwork, employees have done everything that they have been asked to do;
Here’s the real problem:
• Over the last 8 years, HCPSS has used our health care fund like a credit card ($54M) to pay for other programs in the operating budget.
• Once they had depleted our reserves ($24M), they funded their share of our health care at 65% instead of 85%, as they were contractually required to do.
• We found out about this when the previous superintendent was forced out.
Since then, we have worked jointly with the school system and the county to study and solve this problem. However, as the auditor pointed out in the report, instead of paying down the health fund deficit, the school system used their fund balance to pay for operating expenses. Simultaneously, the lack of funds dedicated to HCPSS to meet the increasing needs of our school system while also trying to pay down the deficit for the past 6 years has created this situation.
This is not a health care problem, this problem started due to a lack of accountability and it continues because of a lack of overall funds, keeping up with growing needs of our students and the demands of our community. The solution is for us all to work together to find the funds that all of our schools need to succeed. HCEA continues to be focused on that, as well as safeguarding quality health care for our employees.
Join us on Nov. 6th at 5:30 PM for the last of 3 community forums in Howard County at Lake Elkhorn Middle School about what the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future means for increasing revenues for our schools. Sign up at www.marylandblueprint.org.
Thanks for your attention, patience, and support,
Colleen Morris and the HCEA UniServ Directors
(note – the text above was generated via OCR program of the image of the News Release. I apologize for any OCR errors in the text).
Here is the post I came across on social media:
This is a follow up article to: Statement of Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on HCPSS Health Fund Deficit