Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/7/12
New Employee Benefits Contracts Generate
Unprecedented Savings for City of Atlanta
First reduction of city’s health care rates in over a decade yields savings of $3.2 million for FY13
ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta expects to save $3.2 million over the next fiscal year with new three-year employee benefits contracts approved this week. Reductions in overall health care rates mark the first time that one year’s rates were lower than those from a previous fiscal year.
“The City Council and my administration have truly done extraordinary work in regards to health benefits for our employees, retirees and their families,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “While the state and other government entities have seen their rates rise by as much as 9.5 percent, we have put forth a comprehensive benefits package at a lower overall cost but without any cuts in benefits.”
The Atlanta City Council on Tuesday approved new three-year contracts with providers of managed health care plans as well as for dental, vision, life insurance and other related benefits. The contracts cover benefits for more than 19,000 employees, retirees and dependents.
In the original FY13 budget, the Council included an additional $4.3 million for the city’s contribution toward health and related benefits, a 5 percent increase over the previous year’s health care costs. With the approved contracts, in FY13, the city will save the $4.3 million budgeted increase and the additional $3.2 million in premium cost reduction for a total savings of $7.5 million against budget.
“The city’s new benefits contracts continue the Reed administration’s commitment to smart fiscal management,” said Duriya Farooqui, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta. “Furthermore, they reflect our sharp focus on employee wellness while proactively managing health care costs. For the first time in over a decade, the City will reduce its benefit costs compared to the prior fiscal year.”
Farooqui commended the work of Human Resources Commissioner Yvonne Yancy for implementing the city’s healthcare strategy and reversing a trend of more than 8 percent increases in premium costs year over year, for the last five years.
The new contracts also provide the following:
• A reduction in cost or no change in cost for benefits across every platform except one
• A 42-percent reduction in costs for retired employees over 65 who are eligible for Medicare Advantage
• An investment of about $1.725 million in wellness initiatives over the next three years in addition to a host of no-cost programming the City already provides to its employees
• An expansion of the City’s “Healthier You” initiative through the addition of four new employee fitness centers, availability of personal fitness trainers, expansion of existing health programs and the addition of Tai Chi and Zumba classes
• A continued relationship with the Grady Health System and Grady Memorial Hospital through every carrier.
“Under the Reed administration we have developed a comprehensive approach to health care with a focus on increasing utilization of primary care providers, chronic disease management, wellness initiatives and proactive cost reduction,” said Human Resources Commissioner Yvonne Cowser Yancy. “With these new contracts, we continue to offer exceptional benefits to our employees, retirees, and their families; and we are able to do so with a historic reduction in cost with no reduction in the quality of our benefits. This will allow the City to build upon our extensive wellness initiatives and provide even more programs and services to keep our employees, retirees and dependents healthier and more active.”
For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @City_of_Atlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed