Madison Twp.s insurance costs are up and down

It is often said there is safety in numbers, but for Madison Township, there are also savings in numbers.

According to an agreement with the Ohio Township Authority (OTA) group rating plan for Bureau of Worker’s Compensation coverage, the Madison Township trustees signed off on a premium saving the township almost $118,000 with a group rate versus individual coverage.

The individual rate for 2009 for BWC premiums coverage is $293,281 compared with $176,185 for the OTA group rate. The cost, however, does not include a $23,000 administrative service fee charged to each participant.

"The township has been a program participant for the last two years," reported Madison Township Administrator Judy Edwards during the trustees’ June 18 meeting. "It is a great opportunity made possible by a number of townships pooling together and sharing the risk. We’re still saving a little under $100,000 even with the administrative fee."

News on another type of insurance premium was not as positive. Edwards said Madison Township is facing sharp increases in costs for employee health coverage.

"Given the incidents of claims and high utilization, it just comes down to a bad year," Edwards told the trustees before they approved a six-month renewal of the policy. "Some of the premium increase will be passed on, which is around $11 per month for a family."

Edwards said many employees have met their annual deductible, so changing to another policy in the middle of the year would be difficult.

Trustee Dennis White called the insurance process "nothing but a gamble" and suggested the township write a request for proposal telling insurance brokers what Madison Township wants versus what brokers felt was appropriate "so that we drive the train and not be part of a shell game played by brokers."

Other Madison Township news

•The trustees approved the promotion of Firefighter James Looney to lieutenant, recognized Fire Chief Clifford Mason for his completion of the Ohio Fire Executive Program, and approved a service contract with Franklin County Board of Health’s integrated mosquito management program at a cost not to exceed $2,366.

•During a public input session, resident Sandy Rose said neighbors started a Blockwatch in her area and wanted information on noise ordinances. Trustee Jim Hummel said just as the township does not have the power to set speed limits, it does not have the power to establish noise ordinances, both of which are regulated by the county.

Residents were concerned about loud noises emanating from automobiles and houses and felt the issue was also a safety concern if a driver could not hear an approaching emergency vehicle because their car stereo was turned up too high.

•The next meeting of the Madison Township Trustees was moved to July 23 at 6 p.m. in the township community center.

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