Boots & Sabers

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0649, 26 Jul 23

West Bend Teachers Mad About Health Insurance Change

Teachers are mad. Water is wet. I wish they got this angry about the porn in the curriculum.

According to the district, the changes would lead to lower deductibles and lower out-of-pocket maximums, and employees will have two plans to choose from and three family sizes to choose from for the plans. There will be additional incentives for the second plan and minimal employee premium increases from 2023.


One reason for dropping the current HRA model was that the district had to reserve an increasing amount of dollars each year due to rollovers, which led to less dollars being available for wage increases. Another was that not every employee used it the same and received the same benefit from it.


However, during the School Board meeting on Monday, teachers spoke out against the plan, with some saying they had been promised the HRA benefit as a form of compensation in addition to their salaries.


“I am concerned about the district’s decision to take HRA dollars away from teachers who had been promised this money as part of their compensation,” said Shelly Krueger, a teacher in the district for 32 years. “… I urge the school board and the district administration to reconsider its decision to take HRA money away from our teachers, otherwise future promises may sound empty.”


“It was understood that one of the possibilities in new health insurance plans meant that the HRA may be discontinued. It was not, however, made clear until the July 10th board meeting that teachers that have banked their HRA money, me as one of them, which was given to them as part of their compensation, would have that money taken away from them by the district without having any additional compensation in return,” said teacher Hailey Dougherty. “There are teachers with thousands of dollars saved in their accounts, and taking away that money is robbing teachers of their overall compensation. I strongly encourage the board to speak with HR and find a solution to allow teachers to use this money that has been earned.”

Here’s the rub:

an HSA works more like a bank account that the employee can put money into before it is taxed, whereas an HRA is an employer-funded plan.



0649, 26 July 2023


  1. Merlin

    >Another was that not every employee used it the same and received the same benefit from it.

    This has been the primary complaint with HSAs for years. HSAs are supposedly ‘unfair’ because not all employees use the program to their benefit. The bitch I’ve heard from folks most often is that they don’t have enough income to participate, meaning they can’t bank their own money for current and future healthcare costs. Sometimes it’s a legitimate complaint. Most times it’s just a preference to use OPM to fund their healthcare.

  2. FantasiaWHT

    HRAs are different – HRAs are funded exclusively by the employer, but the employer can decide whether the money from one year rolls over to the next or disappears on a “use it or lose it” basis. So it’s a reasonable criticism of an employer to take it away, but I’m guessing the teacher who claimed they were “promised” that is just wrong. At most it would’ve been “promised” that for a single year as part of the contract.

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