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BOE to offer dental/optical option for retirees

Martha Sparks msparks@civitasmedia.com

April 27, 2014

The Logan County Board of Education approved a new option for all board of education retirees at its April 24 meeting. Currently, retirees can pay premiums for an 18-month period after their retirement and then are no longer able participate in the dental and optical program.


Under the new option, all current retirees from Logan County Schools can participate in the same dental and optical program available to its full-time employees. The program provides optical benefits of $350 per year for a pair of glasses and a cap of $2,000 per year for dental benefits. The option will be available at no cost to the Board of Education. It was confirmed that several other counties in the state have adopted similar programs.


There will be a one-time enrollment window for retirees to register for the option. If current retirees do not enroll during this period, they will not be able to enroll in the future. Those that decide to purchase the option may choose an individual or family plan. Premiums must be paid each month by the retirees or the coverage will be canceled. Information concerning the enrollment and coverage will be mailed to all retirees in the near future.


Additional new items have been made to Logan County Schools through the recent levy election including salary increases for professional and service personnel, increased funding for county libraries and the WVU Extension Service, and continued technology support and free textbooks for all Logan County students. The levy will also provide increased funding for both academic and athletic trips at the school level. This funding will enable schools to provide any educational and athletic participants to use county school buses to attend any school-related event.


“Since this levy will be in effect until June 30, 2019, our board spent a good deal of time developing the items it would include. We could not provide this new option for retirees through the levy funds, but we worked together to find a way to allow retirees to pay into a premium supplement fund to receive the same dental and optical coverage as regular employees. That was a major goal of ours,” said Dr. Pat Joe White, BOE member, “We also recognized that increased fuel costs were creating hardships for families trying to transport children to academic and athletic events. This extra funding was provided so all schools would be able to use school buses to attend academic and sports-related events.”


“We understood there was some misinformation concerning some new levy items; however, our action at tonight’s meeting should eliminate those confusions,” Mark McGrew, BOE member. “It was difficult to project what the funds generated by this levy will need to provide for the next five years, but we believe the increased allocations provided for all levy items will cover both expected and unexpected cost increases in the future.”