We made a difference at SJVIA!

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The San Joaquin Valley Insurance Authority (SJVIA) voted to set new rates for 2017. Because members stood up and talked about the hardships we have with our current healthcare, the increase for next year has already been substantially reduced.

“It’s been difficult to keep up. I help people get food and shelter and healthcare and we’re having the same issues even though we work for the County,” said Kathleen Wilmes, Self-Sufficiency Support Asst. I for Fresno County.

The numbers are not yet final, but SJVIA voted for an 11.8 percent increase to the Anthem PPO, a 15.65 percent increase to the Anthem HMO, and a Kaiser rate set relative to the Anthem HMO rate.

This is down from a total potential increase of 32.9 percent just two weeks ago.

John Adams, a Planner III with Fresno County, said, “It’s still not enough. We need to go to the Board and tell them to step up. When I was hired, Fresno County contributed 87 percent of the cost of healthcare. Now they contribute less than half.”

These rates apply only to Fresno and Tulare counties and are subject to change based on contract conditions SJVIA has with member agencies. Other SJVIA members will be assigned a different rate that will be determined in the coming weeks.

Our next step is to lobby our Boards and Councils to do more to increase their contributions to healthcare. SJVIA increases shouldn’t be carried on the backs of workers alone.

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