City employees now have a little more money set aside for health screenings as part of their healthcare plan.
Last week the Northern Arizona Employee Benefit Trust, which provides benefits for city workers in Havasu, Kingman and Bullhead City, voted to increase the amount of money placed into a wellness benefit account as part of each employee’s health plan from $500 per year to $750.
“We set aside dollars for members of the pool − that is employees and their families,” said Lake Havasu City Manager Jess Knudson. “These are not dollars paid to the employees, but they are dollars that are reserved so that each member can use the benefit to draw down from that account. It is purely for wellness, or proactive healthcare screenings.”
Knudson said the benefit trust provides various health screenings on site throughout the year, including prostate exams, mammograms, skin cancer and organ screenings. If members choose to participate in those screenings they can use the wellness benefit account to cover the cost.
The trust has set aside $500 for such screenings since the trust was formed.
Knudson said since that time they have added additional screenings, which lead to the decision to increase the amount in the wellness benefit accounts.
“If we want our employees, their families and spouses to take advantage of all the screenings that are available, the incentive makes sure that all the members of the pool have access to those healthcare screenings,” Knudson said. “This is a great way to catch any type of cancer or other illness that can be detected early on in the process.
“It is the right thing to do from a moral perspective, but it is also the right thing to do from a financial perspective regarding the trust. For minimal dollars now, we can detect any type of disease that would otherwise burden our employees, their spouses and their children, and then cause great healthcare costs to the trust.”
Knudson said there are a total of 2,600 people included in the NAEBT membership pool.