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Cookeville Council Approves New Life Insurance Options

Cookeville City Council approved new life insurance options for city employees Thursday.

The proposal switches the city-paid life insurance provider for employees and retirees from Voya to Lincoln. Supplemental policies will also be switched to Lincoln following a 20-year agreement with Aflac.

Finance Director Brenda Imel says the city’s policies had not been changed in decades.

“It is a big change and the only thing that is a cost to the city is the city-paid life insurance,” Imel said. “The rest of these benefits are voluntary. It is totally up to the employee whether or not they want to take them, and if they do, they pay for them.”

Imel said the changes do not affect the city’s medical insurance plan currently in place with Blue Cross Blue Shield. According to Imel, the switch to Lincoln for city-paid life insurance will save the city over $15,000 annually.

Under Lincoln, modified unblended rates will cost the city 33 cents for employees and 47 cents for retirees conditionally.

Human Resources Director Gail Fowler said the changes won’t take affect for a few months.

“This will all be done in open enrollment unless there’s a life-changing situation… So everything will remain the same [and] it will become effective Jan. 1,” Fowler said. “This opportunity to provide employees more information about the new offerings and having those enrollers there at open enrollment to help them understand what their individual circumstances are, I think, will be a great benefit for us.”

The agreement with Lincoln will cause Cookeville’s retiree premiums to increase by a total amount of $960 annually, however individual retirees will only see increases of up to $1. City officials said Monday Lincoln will offering employee assistance programs at no cost.

Supplemental policies had been offered through Aflac for short- and long-term disabilities for 20 years until the switch to Lincoln. The Hartford Company would carry accident and critical illness coverage for new offering.

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