A New Way To Insure School Employees?


A Panhandle state senator has an idea designed to save money on one of the biggest public school expenses  — employee health insurance.

Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, would require school systems to join with others and buy employee health insurance in bulk.

Gaetz is a former elected school superintendent of Okaloosa County, which is wedged between Pensacola and Panama City.

The bill could rob a lot of local lobbyists of clients.  Handing out the huge Broward schools health care contract for 28,000 fulltime employees is a huge lobbyist feeding frenzy.

The local lobbyists loss would be state lobbyists gain.

Under Gaetz’s bill, school systems would join a consortium which would take bids for insurance.   Systems in various areas of the state would be grouped together to take into account different costs. School systems could opt out of the process only if they can buy insurance cheaper on their own.

On the surface, Gaetz’s bill sounds like an interesting idea.  Taxpayers surely need some new ways to save money.  Maybe this is one.

Hearings will bring out the strengths and the weaknesses.

He surely has the clout to get a fair hearing for the bill because Gaetz is the chair of a committee near and dear to the heart of every senator reapportionment.

One thing worries me about Gaetz.  He made his fortune in the healthcare industry and is now retired.

Let’s hope his idea is a good one and won’t end up drumming up new clients for his former company.  

 Because Gaetz was a co-founder of VITASthe huge hospice firm.

9 Responses to “A New Way To Insure School Employees?”

  1. Parent says:

    The old idea that school employees should get free health insurance without paying anything for it must stop. Almost everybody pays a portion of their insurance.

  2. No Nonsense says:

    I didn’t know school board people got free insurance.


    As I recall, employees get their health insurance paid. Dependent coverage is an additional cost, at least for teachers.

    I’m not sure about higher ranking employees like the superintendent and his staff.

  3. No Nonsense says:

    That is quite a benefit

  4. Lyn says:

    District employees are covered only for the basic HMO for themselves. Vision and dental are paid by the employee.
    To insure one family member (child) is about $550 per month for health insurance only. The family plan costs more than that, about $1,200 I think.

  5. Lyn says:

    Notter’s contract called for him to be reimbursed for his wife’s insurance to the tune of $13,000 Per year. Supposedly he gave that up for his 2009-2010 contract. He also got paid for his Corvette lease but I was told he has a driver at his disposal.

  6. No Gravy Train Here says:

    The School Board and Insurer Vista/Coventry just jack up the costs for dependent insurance to cover much of the cost for employees. Dependent care can run from $600 for a spouse to $3000+ for PPO Family plan. Coventry is getting rich and so are its lobbyists, like Stephanie Kraft’s husband. And whoever else they paid off. So in the Broward Schools an employee is greatly taxed for having kids. Make sense? For years Supt Notter did not have to pay for his wife’s insurance, but the low paid cafeteria worker or secretary or teacher did. Greed lives in SBBC.

  7. New Day says:

    Notter and all the rest must realize that the end of the gravy train has come.

    What are the provisions for School Board members to be covered? I am told their families get coverage, too.

    Administrators should get the same coverage as the lowest paid employee. The idea that unused vacation time is paid back should be ended.

    Clean your act up.

  8. S only says:

    There’s been something fishy about the insurance arrangements in the Broward school system for a long, long time. Like 30+ years. I’ve always thought some people (committee members? lobbyists?others?) were getting rich under the table at the expense of the employees. Something needs to change.

  9. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    I’m retired and pay plenty for insurance coverage….