The Porter Town
Council is looking to reduce next year’s health insurance rate for municipal
But it would mean
changing the provider network, Steve Brady of Heritage Advisory Group told
the council at its meeting Tuesday night.
The renewal rate
for medical/dental insurance provided by United Health Care is set to
increase 10.1 percent for 2020, Brady said. However, changing the provider
network would result in a decrease of the 2019 rate by 8 percent and next
year’s renewal rate by fully 18 percent.
themselves would remain the same under the provider network change and no
hospitals in Northwest Indiana would be affected, Brady said. The change
would, however, affect two hospitals in Chicago: University of Chicago
and Lurie Children’s, neither of which are part of the new network.
Brady told the
council that he’s spoken with employees and has determined that no one is
currently receiving treatment at either the University of Chicago Hospital
or Lurie Children’s Hospital. For that reason, Brady recommended changing
provider networks for the cost savings.
“I think it’s good
news anytime you hear insurance is going down,” President Greg Stinson said.
“I’m glad you checked that nobody’s care is going to be interrupted.”
will be going up by $55 per month, approximately $1 per employee. Life
and vision--provided by Best Life--won’t change at all or only minimally,
The council took no
action on Tuesday. A vote on insurance renewal is scheduled for members’
next meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12.
In other business,
members voted unanimously to approve a renewal of the town’s
property/casualty/workman’s comp insurance, premiums for which will increase
by roughly 6 percent or $3,551.
Jim Anton of Anton
Insurance Agency told the council that $2,393 of the increase is due to a
bump in workman’s compensation insurance, following a 2017 claim “which just
rolled in.” That resulted is an 11-percent surcharge based on that claim
alone, he said.
Total renewal cost
for 2020: $88,356, up from $84,805.
The new policy will
go into effect next week.
voted unanimously to approve an expenditure of $1,400 to fund a new
cloud-based “pre-planning” program which Fire Chief Jay Craig will make the
pre-planning for fighting commercial fires hugely faster and easier.
The program will
allow Craig to input building dimensions, room layouts, key locations,
keyholders, nearby hydrants, and flow rates in a fraction of the time it
takes now: from three to four hours per commercial building to 15 minutes.
The resulting data
will be downloadable at the scene from all smart devices.
Of that sum, $400
is for start-up costs and $1,000 for annual maintenance. Hereafter, the
$1,000 maintenance fee will come from the PFD’s budget.
Tuesday’s meeting with a moment of silence to remember the late Ken Timm,
who passed on Thursday, Oct. 17.
Tim was a Porter
businessman who served on the Plan Commission and the Board of Zoning
Appeals for 17 years.
faithfully and will be greatly missed,” Stinson said.
Vote for PFD in
Porter Fire Chief
Jay Craig is inviting folks to cast their vote for the Porter Fire
Department’s entry into the Residences of Coffee Creek 2019 Scarecrow
Voting is taking
place through Thursday, Oct. 31, with the winners announced on Friday, Nov.
1. First prize: $500. Second: $250.
Folks can like the
PFD’s scarecrow post on its Facebook page. Or--even better--they can visit
the Residences of Coffee Creek and cast as many votes as they wish at the
Coffee Creek is located at 2300 Village Point in Coffee Creek Center in
“Some of the
firefighters worked very hard to put that display together,” Craig reported
to the Town Council at its meeting Tuesday night.
“And it looks very
good,” President Greg Stinson said.