Cape schools seek advice for cutting health costs

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The School Department has hired two consultants to see if health-insurance costs can be reduced.

Consultants Alliant Employee Benefits and Cross Insurance Agency will be paid up to $15,000 in unused funds from this year’s budget to conduct the review, according to a department news release.

The review is an extension of the district’s Health Insurance Task Force, which was established in 2011 and charged with determining whether the schools can spend less money to obtain coverage that is comparable to what its employees currently receive from the Maine Education Association Benefits Trust.

A 2010 study estimated the School Department could save more than $359,000 a year by soliciting bids from health insurance companies.

“Whether or not that is still true today, that’s what these experts will tell us,” task force member David Hillman said in the release.

Superintendent of Schools Meredith Nadeau said the review will have no impact on the fiscal 2014 budget, which has allocated $2.5 million toward health insurance.

The district budgeted $2.3 million in fiscal 2013, according to Business Manager Pauline Aportria.

Benjamin McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.