In response to changes in the health insurance market the Stuart City Council approved an insurance rate increase for employees.

The Line Construction Benefit Fund (LINECO), the City’s health insurance provider, increased the hourly contribution rate from $7.48 per hour to $7.80 per hour effective January 1st, 2019. In a memo LINECO stated the primary causes of this action are increased medical and prescription drug costs. The City Council approved, at their most recent meeting on Monday, that all new city and utility employees will each pay $55.68 monthly for insurance.

Council member Theresa Glass said she did not recall previous council discussions on this decision, “I think this is an issue that has not been resolved. I don’t want to open up that can of worms tonight. But when we ever get to a planning session where we are doing long-term planning, at least at that point we need to talk about how we can fairly deal with this insurance issue and who the insurance will cover because as it is it’s not fair, it’s not equitable, it’s not sustainable.”

This health insurance increase follows the Council’s decision back in August approving a 3% increase in wages for City employees.