GARY — City administrators this week are switching employees to a new health care insurance company as they pay down $4.6 million in overdue payments to their former insurance company, CIGNA.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said the the city paid CIGNA $1.6 million in overdue payments this week and will pay the remaining $3 million balance to CIGNA by the end of the year.
The city is switching from CIGNA to AIM Medical Trust, resulting in nearly $800,000 in savings.
"This was solely the city’s decision to go with a more competitively priced plan, while providing a similar level of coverage for employees," she said. "There will be added costs for co-pays for medication. However, there are also added savings for hearing aids, office visits and certain diseases."
The switch to a new health care company is part of the administration's financial recovery plan aimed at tackling the city's $17 million budget deficit.
The mayor has said the plan is critical to addressing longstanding debt in the city and getting Gary on stable, financial footing.
Through a combination of aggressive permit and licensing fee collections, department consolidation, revenue generators and economic development, Freeman-Wilson has said she hopes city government can match spending levels with revenue in due time.