Healthcare task force created to consider possible changes to 50/50 contribution split

March 27, 2024 By Carol Britton Meyer

In a letter to the School Committee that was read at Monday’s meeting, Town Administrator Tom Mayo announced the formation of a healthcare task force charged with completing a detailed analysis of the long- and short-term financial implications of potential changes to the town’s health benefit cost allocation.

The town currently offers its municipal and school employees health insurance with a 50/50 contribution split, meaning that the town pays for 50% of the insurance cost and the employee pays the other 50%.

“As healthcare costs are rising, this has become a larger issue for employees,” Mayo states in the letter. “For the first time in over 30 years, the Select Board has directed the town administrator to initiate a review of the healthcare contribution structure.”

This will be accomplished through the formation of a task force to research and identify potential ways to improve the town’s offerings to employees “while not negatively impacting the town’s ability to provide services to the public and maintaining our commitment to the FY24-28 Financial Management Plan that limits annual budget increases to 3. 5%,” Mayo stated.

The Task Force, organized by Mayo, will likely be comprised of  the town administrator or his designee, one or more resident volunteers, a representative from a school union, and a representative from a municipal union.

The work of the task force will be accomplished outside of collective bargaining and is expected to begin in early May and take several months to complete.

The members of the task force will ultimately make a recommendation to the town administrator and Select Board on how to proceed from there.

Throughout the process, updates will be provided to the board during public meetings to keep residents and employees informed of the the task force’s progress “in addressing this important issue,” Mayo said.

1 thought on “Healthcare task force created to consider possible changes to 50/50 contribution split”

  1. The Hingham Education Association certainly welcomes any attention to the issue of the abysmal health insurance premium splits facing our town’s municipal employees. The need for this work has been articulated by town employees for years and we were glad to hear it finally named by the Select Board back in January of this year. Plans for a March task force were communicated to the town unions in February. While we appreciate being included in a task force, it’s frustrating to hear the work of studying the impacts of health insurance did not already happen and is now inexplicably being delayed until May. We know the impacts of the current health insurance splits are to drive some town employees into negative paychecks and out of Hingham. After decades of misdirection and mistreatment related to this issue, we are grappling with serious feelings of distrust. We urge the Select Board to sit down across from town employees as equals to bargain over health insurance immediately by adopting Section 19 of MGL Chapter 32B as our unions have requested.


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