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GBRC approves decreased insurance premiums
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Great Bend Rec

In a time where costs for so many things are going up, the Great Bend Recreation Commission actually will see one significant line item decrease in cost in the coming year. At its Monday monthly meeting, the board approved decreased premiums in both the commission’s commercial liability and employee health and dental insurance premiums.

The board approved renewal of the commission’s commercial liability insurance plan through Conrade Insurance Group of Newton, representing Cincinnati Insurance Company, an insurance provider who has an A+, or superior, rating for the provision of commercial liability insurances. The annual premium, effective May 1, 2022, is for $44,961. The premium for the previous year was just over $47,000.

The annual premium covers property, general liability, commercial automotive, crime, contractors equipment, electronic data processing equipment, terrorism, management (directors and officers) liability, which covers commission board members and staff, and workers’ compensation. The commission also has a separate liability policy for the GBRC Foundation, for Public Official Errors and Ommissions Insurance, for an annual premium of $799.

Currently, the commission is in its its third year of a four-year bundle contract with the company. Executive Director Diann Henderson said the premiums are bundled together to allow for a cost savings. 

Health insurance renewal

The board also approved a renewal the commission’s health insurance benefit plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, effective July 1, 2022, at a 12% decrease in premiums from the previous plan year.

Beginning July 1, the monthly premium will be $11,496.40, which is down from $13,126.36 from the previous year. The cost includes $11,188.07 health insurance plus $388.07 a month for dental, which is an add-on writer to the plan.

Henderson said the commission’s health insurance plan is a non-grandfathered plan in the national small business pool, which complies with provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The pool includes high to minimal risk for small businesses and individuals. 

The GBRC pays the full employee portion of the premium for all qualified employees, plus a share of an employee-elected dependent care insurance. The plan bundle with BCBS also includes term life, short term disability and voluntary term life insurance packages.

The commission’s health insurance premium is figured based upon age of the participants in the plan, as well as the profitability of the pool the commission is in, instead of by claims filed.

In response to a question by board member Randy Goering, Henderson told the board that among qualified employees, the commission has 100% participation in the employee health plan.

Board chair Andrea Bauer said the step is an important one in finding and retaining quality employees.

“The last few years, we’ve done a lot of work on wages, I feel like quality benefits are just as important. So it’s good. We want to keep good people here,” Bauer said.

Great Bend Recreation Commission board meeting at a glance

Here’s a quick look at what the board did Monday afternoon:

• The board heard program updates from department heads. Spring programs are wrapping up, and department heads are preparing for summer programs. 

• Board chairperson Andrea Bauer acknowledged notes of gratitude from the Great Bend Reads initiative committee and from Youth Crew for the commission’s support of their “Charlotte’s Web” and “Let’s Kick the Habit” kickball tournaments, respectively.

• Approved a renewed agreement with the Great Bend Bat Cats organization for use of Al Burns Memorial Field at Veterans Park for the upcoming summer baseball season. The city of Great Bend has also approved the agreement, which is unchanged from past years.

• Henderson advised the board she and Assistant Superintendent Chris Umphres have recently met with representatives from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) and Kansas High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) regarding upcoming tournaments for the organizations at the Great Bend Sports Complex. Representatives offered favorable feedback regarding improvements at the facility.

• Also in regards to the Sports Complex, Henderson advised the board signage improvements are almost completed. USD 428 has also undertaken replacement and installation of new benches in the dugouts of the Sports Complex fields, which is also almost completed.