Monday, February 23, 2009

D80 student insurance rates see increase

MT. VERNON — In spite of an increase in student accident insurance rates, the plan is still a good deal, according to District 80 Superintendent Dr. Kevin Settle. “During the past four years, they are paying out more than we are paying in premiums every year,” Settle said. “The increase is still much less than we would have paid without the insurance coverage.” Members of the District 80 Board agreed, and have approved renewing the insurance policy for another year. The cost of the insurance coverage will cost the district $12,625 annually, up 21 percent from $10,365.

Settle said an average of nine claims are made to the accident insurance company — First Agency — annually. “We have kids who may get hurt on the playground equipment or playing sports , things like that,” Settle explained. “The insurance company pays 100 percent of the claims. ... The parents’ insurance is still the primary, but for those who don’t have insurance and an accident happens while they are at school, this policy covers those students.”

And, Settle said with the number of students in the district whose families are at the poverty level, the number of children without insurance coverage has risen over the years. District 80 has about a 75.5 percent low income enrollment, according to state statistics.“Most schools don’t do this,” Settle reported. “We’re one of the few who provide insurance for our students.” The district began offering the accident insurance about eight years ago.

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