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MISSION—The Mission School Board on April 10 approved a 2.75 percent rate increase to renew the district’s health insurance plan with Humana Health Insurance for the 2013-2014 year.

MCISD Coordinator of Risk Management/Employee Benefits Sylvia Cruz explained that Humana had presented a higher rate – an increase of 3.9 percent – to the district’s insurance committee a week earlier. The district’s health insurance renewal date is on Oct. 1, 2013.

Humana representative Vanesia Adkins explained the increase is a representation of the increase in taxes that has to be paid due to the Health Care Reform Act.

“After meeting, the consensus of the board and the insurance committee was that they wanted to direct Humana to come and present today (April 10) their best and final offer,” Cruz said.

The insurance company’s best and final offer stands at 2.75 percent, Adkins said at the board meeting, adding that the proposal was based on the district’s current benefit plans; there were no alterations made.

MCISD Board Vice President Patricia O’Caña-Olivarez said that upon approval, the district would be bound to the same exact plans as in the previous year without any changes.

“I just don’t want for anybody to say that after we had a committee… who give their time and energy and we did not give you all an opportunity to negotiate that,” O’Caña-Olivarez said.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Lucio Mendoza said he was part of the visits and negotiation process with Humana.

“The state sponsored program has three levels of coverage: the first level is increasing by 9 percent, second level is increasing by 15 percent, and the third level is increasing by 25 percent,” Mendoza said. “At this time this is a good renewal for the district. The benefits are still the same, but I think we need to try and lock it in as soon as we can.”

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