Coming in January—Open Enrollment Meetings (Not Mandatory)

By Greg Littlejohn

Health insurance is typically the second biggest expense to an employer next to salary.  The Nation’s health plan is no different.  In fact, in 2015, it cost $15,999 for each non-enrolled Ho-Chunk employee who were on the health plan.  In 2019, it the estimated annual cost per employee projects to $21,861, a 36.6% increase over the past five years.
Over this five-year period, the benefit plan has remained the same.  On average, the plan pays 5.5% more of the health expenses than the average large group in Wisconsin.  At the same time, Ho-Chunk employees pay 33% less for insurance coverage compared to employees at other large companies.
Compared to Wisconsin employers as a whole, the Ho-Chunk Nation has always provided better coverage at a lower cost to employees than the average employer.  This has come at a considerable cost to the Nation.  
This was partially addressed last year in a resolution approved by the Ho-Chunk Legislature on November 21, 2017.  The goal of this resolution was to bring employee contributions more in line with what other employees in the state pay for insurance coverage.  The resolution defined the percentage of plan cost non-enrolled employees will pay in 2019 (17% for single, 22% for family).
The resolution also showed estimated premium and employee contributions based on an estimated 5% increase in cost in 2019.   Unfortunately, actual plan expenses ran considerably higher than estimated, and the increase for 2019 is 11.6%.  Both the Nation and employees share in this increased cost.
The Ho-Chunk Nation remains committed to providing an excellent benefit package for employees at a reasonable cost.