published Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Kimball, Tenn., eyes insurance option for employees

KIMBALL, Tenn. -- City leaders are looking to offer state-sponsored vision insurance to city employees.

The insurance program initially was discussed during the Mayor and Board of Aldermen's May meeting, Mayor David Jackson said, but officials wanted to find out what the premiums would be before making a decision.

City Recorder Tonia May said the town has to inform state officials by July 2 for employees to be eligible to enroll in the program by January 2013.

"The final benefit summary will be later this summer, but premiums will not be available until [the state] has awarded the vision insurance contract," she said. "By selecting that we have the intent to enroll, that does not make us required to enroll."

On Thursday, the board voted unanimously to notify the state of Kimball's intent to enroll in the program.

Alderman Mark Payne said the town won't be obligated to offer the insurance if the selected company "comes up with some ridiculous rate."

City Attorney Billy Gouger said the board has approved only "the intent to enroll."

"If the rates are determined to be excessive [by the board], they don't have to complete the enrollment," he said.

May said the vision insurance is similar to the long-term care insurance program the board voted to offer employees several months ago.

"This insurance is not paid by the municipality," she said. "It is paid by the individual employees."

Once the town receives the information on the insurance rates, Jackson said, officials will give the information to city employees to see if any of them are interested in enrolling.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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