LA JOYA — The La Joya Independent School District board was updated on prescription drugs benefits in the district’s health insurance plan and truancy statistics at last week’s board meeting.
The board received additional information about the drug benefits after a misunderstanding on how the plan works. There were concerns on the cost of prescriptions purchased through the plan.
Co-pays for prescription drugs had recently changed, confusing employees. Previously, co-pays for prescription drugs were a flat rate. Now, employees have to pay 20 to 30 percent of the cost of a prescription drug.
Board Member Espie Ochoa said employees needed to be better informed of these changes. She said she had fielded several calls about the higher amount employees are now asking to pay.
Isaac Sulemana, member, said he didn’t think any of the trustees foresaw the huge jump in price. The high cost of name brand prescriptions was putting the self-funded insurance plan, which a majority of employees get for free, in jeopardy.
“Our goal really is to kind of push people more toward generic when a generic is available,” said Sulemana. “At the same time, we are looking at putting a cap for those medicines that don’t have a generic available.”
Dr. Alda T. Benavides, LJISD superintendent, said they are looking into addressing the concerns. More information will be shared at future board meetings and faculty and campus meetings, said Benavides.
In other items, Isidro Casanova, district attendance and truancy supervisor, gave a truancy and attendance improvement management (AIM) update to the board. Truancy report referrals have decreased slightly from last year’s numbers for January and dropped considerably for February from 219 last year to 73 referrals this year.
Palmview High School students using the program increased their attendance from 75 percent to 93 percent. Juarez-Lincoln students enrolled in the program went from 62 percent attendance to 86 percent. Attendance for La Joya High School students in the program increased from 76 percent to 82 percent.
During executive session, the board hired Imelda Rodriguez as principal of Memorial Middle School and Jose Garcia as principal at Domingo Treviño Middle School.
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