Londonderry officials work to get a handle on health care changes
This week, town councilors and Town Manager Kevin Smith discussed the matter publicly, along with Tom Delaney, a consultant with Workplace Benefit Solutions. The Granite State firm has a full staff of attorneys and actuaries, and its clients include municipalities such as Salem and Nashua, as well as Catholic Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
Delaney said the overall trends indicate a 10 percent increase in health care costs across the region, though Londonderry's costs are significantly higher than average.
It costs $21,761 per year to cover the average Londonderry employee, Delaney said.
"Cost variation is also tremendous in such a small geographical area," he added. "Are we taking advantage of generic drug offerings? And are we using emergency rooms more, instead of cheaper alternatives like urgent care centers or 24-hour nurse hotlines?"
Smith said costs would likely increase again next year, noting that the town is negotiating a new employee contract with the firefighters union.
Smith said the one-year-contract with the police union includes a 1.8 percent cost of living increase, though no other major changes from the current agreement.
"We can work together from there," he said.
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