Showing posts with label insurance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label insurance. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2022

Fire Dept achieves ISO Class 1 rating

Fire Chief James McLaughlin and Joseph Pasco, Northeast Manager of ISO (Insurance Services Office, Inc.), presented the upgraded rating of an ISO Class 1 to the Town Council on April 6th, 2022.  The Franklin Fire Department will move to the ISO Class 1 rating effective July 1st, 2022.  The ISO Class 1 rating from the Public Protection Classification is the highest rating attainable.

Franklin will be the 9th Fire Department in Massachusetts, only the 15th Fire Department in New England, and 459th in the Nation to obtain this rating.  This is out of over 45,000 fire departments rated nationally.  The Public Protection Classification goes from 1 to 10.  Class 1 represents superior property fire protection and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program doesn’t meet minimum criteria. 

This rating is based on strict criteria developed and assessed by the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS).  ISO provides data and analytics for the property/casualty insurance industry.  Most U.S. insurers use the Public Protection Classification information as part of their decision making on offering coverage and the fees charged for the coverage of personal or commercial property insurance.  It is estimated that the improvement of each rating on the scale of 1-10 helps save property owners 7-15% on insurance.

Please note that the insurance policy holder must contact their insurance company to inquire about any savings.  Not every insurance company may use this rating. 

The formal notification can be found on the Town of Franklin page   https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/iso_town_of_franklin_letter.pdf

The ISO Class 1 rating from the Public Protection Classification is the highest rating attainable
The ISO Class 1 rating from the Public Protection Classification is the highest rating attainable


Some of the factors graded include:
- Emergency Communications
- The Fire Department
- Water Supply
- Community Efforts to Reduce the Risk of Fire
 
It is important to note that the Town of Franklin Water Department is instrumental in this rating as 40% is based on the Town Water Supply.  Additionally, communications, including the support of our regional dispatch center, The Metacomet Emergency Communications Center, play an important role in this rating.    
 
Below is information from the ISO Mitigation Public Protection Classification website: 
https://www.isomitigation.com/ppc/


Fire Dept achieves ISO Class 1 rating
Fire Dept achieves ISO Class 1 rating

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

"Consumer Federation of America cited concerns about unfair pricing, misuse of data, and loss of privacy"

"It is sometimes called “usage-based insurance” and sometimes “insurance telematics.” It’s when you agree to allow your auto insurer to ride along with you — quite literally.

If you agree, a constant stream of data flows from your vehicle to your insurer, via a telecommunication device, including how fast you are going, the time of day you are driving, and when and how hard you are hitting the brakes.

What’s the purpose? Insurers say they want to reward good drivers with lower premiums: for example, those who drive within the speed limit, mainly during daylight hours, and without frequently jamming on the brakes. (For drivers whose reckless driving habits correlate to higher risk for crashes, higher premiums may result, although few bad drivers are expected to opt in for telematics.)"
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Thursday, April 22, 2021

What are the fixed costs of the Town of Franklin budget?

As part of the continuing series to prepare for the Finance Committee budget hearings (which begin next week) and the Town Council budget hearings (in May), check out the link to the details on the history of the fixed costs year over year from FY 2004 to FY 2022.

The chart depicts the fixed costs of the budget year by year from FY 2004 to FY 2022.  

What are the fixed costs?

  • Liability Insurance
  • Employee Benefits:
    • Pensions
    • Health/Life Insurance/non school
    • Retired Teacher Health Ins
    • Non GIC - School Retirees
    • Workers Compensation
    • Unemployment Compensation
    • OPEB
    • Medicare


What are the fixed costs of the Town of Franklin budget?
What are the fixed costs of the Town of Franklin budget?

Prior posts

Town of Franklin - budget growth and split between municipal and schools - FY 2012 to FY 2022

School budget, executive summary by School Superintendent Sara Ahern

 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: "Health insurance premiums to rise 8% next year"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS for Massachusetts residents will rise by an average of 7.9 percent at the beginning of next year, despite insurers having profited from declining health care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Beagan, deputy commissioner for the health market at the state Division of Insurance, said the higher premiums reflect several factors, including uncertainty about what health care will look like next year. “Every company highlighted the uncertainty associated with 2021,” Beagan said during a presentation before the Health Policy Commission on Tuesday.

The biggest increase will be for the lower-cost offerings of Tufts Health Plan on the Massachusetts Health Connector. Beagan said the Division of Insurance is “definitely not happy with” Tufts’ 12.2 percent planned increase. But the division chose not to challenge the increase and conduct a hearing process because that would have prevented the plans from being available in time for October’s open enrollment period on the Health Connector.

Among the other largest health plans in the state, a Boston Medical Center plan that is also available to low-income patients on the Health Connector will see an average 2.5 percent premium increase. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s HMO Blue plan, a commercial plan that covers 80,000 members, will see a 5.4 percent premium increase. Always Health Partners and United Healthcare both are planning increases of at least 9 percent, while members with different Tufts health plans will see increases of at least 7 percent. Harvard Pilgrim’s HMO plan members will see a 5.5 percent increase on average."

Continue reading the article online
 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

In the News: ISO rating improved for Franklin; Bellingham cinema exploring alcohol license

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Some homeowners will see their insurance rates decrease this spring when the Franklin Fire Department’s new ISO rating takes effect next month.

Previously holding a Class 3 rating since 2018, Chief James McLaughlin recently announced that the department has improved its ISO rating - also referred to as a “fire score,” or Public Protection Classification (PPC) - to Class 2. Determined by the Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO), the rating indicates how prepared a department is in the case of fire and how quickly it would be able to put it out, he said.

Ratings are issued on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best. Jersey City, New Jersey-based ISO provides statistical and claims-related information to serve insurers, regulators and other risk managers in the property-casualty insurance market.

Though the audit process to review a department’s ranking takes place every five years, McLaughlin called the ISO to question why the department’s rating was a 3 when he joined the department last July. A few months later, he was informed that its rating was improved upon further review, he said."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20200219/franklin-fire-dept-secures-improved-safety-rating

Franklin’s water supply was a factor in improving the Fire Department’s rating
"Franklin’s water supply was a factor in improving the Fire Department’s rating"


"The serving of alcohol and a $6 million renovation could be coming to Bellingham’s Regal Cinema.

The news comes from recently released Bellingham selectmen minutes from the board’s Jan. 21 meeting. Regal Bellingham General Manager Josh Ferriera and attorney Andrew Upton discussed “the possibility of obtaining an All Alcohol Restaurant license,” according to the minutes.

Management at Regal Bellingham, in the Charles River Center shopping plaza near Interstate 495, directed comment to the company’s media inquiries line. Messages left at that number and at Upton’s Boston office and email address were not returned by the Daily News’ deadline.

“Regal in Bellingham is in the process of a $6M update to the cinema and would like to offer the option of purchasing an alcoholic beverage,” the minutes read."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20200219/bellinghams-regal-theater-considers-6m-update-serving-alcohol

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Franklin Receives MIIA’s “Community Excellence” Award

In recognition of its commitment to community-wide risk management through both individual departments and community leadership, the Town of Franklin has earned the "Community Excellence" award from the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA), the town's property and casualty insurance provider. MIIA presented the award to Franklin during the association's annual meeting in Boston on January 20th.

"Congratulations to the Town of Franklin for demonstrating an enthusiastic enterprise-wide commitment to risk management and safety," said Stephen Batchelder, director of Claims Operations for MIIA.

The town's Public Works and Facility Maintenance departments have proactively engaged in, and focused on, OSHA-related training and implementation of risk management best practices. Their collaborative efforts include comprehensive quarterly safety meetings in which they review and investigate all incidents, routine site and building inspections, and continue use of MIIA Rewards training.

"This award is team effort and a testament to the hard work our town departments," said Jamie Hellen, deputy Town Administrator for the Town of Franklin. "Our staff at the DPW, Facilities, Custodians, Police, Fire, Library and Schools do a great job providing training opportunities for our employees to reduce work place injuries and accidents and provide a safe working environment for the community. It is also important to note their efforts have helped save the taxpayers almost $60,000 on our insurance premium for next year. These are the little things our staff do on a day-to-day basis that makes our organization function effectively. The town appreciates MIIA's support and recognition of the hard work our town departments put in."

Factors considered to earn the community excellence award are solid implementation of risk management fundamentals such as on-going and effective safety committees, focused training, and a commitment to strong infrastructure and maintenance protocols throughout the entire community. In addition, awarded communities actively seek out new and creative ways to drive safety and mitigate risk.

About MIIA
The Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA) is the non-profit insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. As a member-based organization, MIIA's only focus is to provide excellent service and quality risk management solutions to Massachusetts' municipalities and related public entities. Municipal insurance its only business, MIIA insures nearly 400 cities, towns, and other public entities in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.emiia.org and www.mma.org.

Friday, January 26, 2018

In the News: election day registration proposed; GIC decision being reviewed

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Beginning next year, Massachusetts voters would be able to register to vote on the same day they cast their ballots, under a new proposal from Secretary of State William Galvin. 
Galvin announced Thursday that he is proposing legislation that would allow Massachusetts residents who are otherwise eligible to vote to go to their local polling place on Election Day, complete a registration form, and vote immediately afterward. Current law requires voters to be registered at least 20 days before an election in which they plan to vote. 
“Election Day registration has been shown to be one of the simplest and more effective ways of increasing voter participation, with administrative costs much lower than many other proposals to do the same thing, because it combines the act of registration and voting,” Galvin said."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20180125/galvin-proposes-same-day-voter-registration-in-mass


"The Group Insurance Commission, relenting to days of withering criticism over its decision to limit health plan offerings to nearly 450,000 state employees and retirees, plans to reconsider that plan when it meets next week. 
The GIC has a meeting scheduled for next Thursday when it was supposed to consider benefit design within the three providers -- UniCare, Neighborhood Health and Health New England -- that were selected to sell plans through the agency after a procurement process. 
The agency now says it will put a motion for reconsideration of the 8-5 vote held Jan. 18 on its agenda for the Feb. 1 meeting. 
At the meeting last Thursday, the GIC voted to eliminate three of the six insurance carriers that offer coverage to the nearly 450,000 state employees and retirees. The change eliminates Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Fallon Community Health and Tufts Health Plan as carriers, and would save the state an estimated $20.8 million next year."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20180125/group-insurance-commission-relents-on-state-employee-health-plan-changes


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Annual Report 2017: Insurance Advisory Committee

The Annual Report is compiled and published each year to be ready for voters to obtain at the November election. A PDF copy is also posted online and available for viewing our downloading. 

The following is a text representation of the printed pages 94-95 (actually 101-102 of 264)

INSURANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Each of the municipal and school unions, as well as retired employees has a seat on the Town of Franklin Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC). It provides recommendations to the Town Administrator on health and dental plans. Meetings are an opportunity for employees from the unions to learn about insurance products, industry trends, and to help identify ways to meet employee needs within the framework of the Affordable Care Act, Massachusetts General Law, a changing health care environment, and available financial resources.

With the Affordable Care Act continuing to evolve or be replaced, we anticipate changes, administrative challenges, and premium increases in the coming years. After several meetings to discuss claims trend and customer service questions, the various plans were modified modestly and renewed with Tufts with less than a 1% increase to HMO premium, the plan that covers 95% of our non-Medicare eligible employees. This saved employees and the Town significantly. We will monitor claims and medical trends to share with the IAC in the coming year and continue to work to provide the best benefit possible at the best rate available.


The Town continued a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help offset hospital in patient costs. We are happy to report that few of our employees required an overnight stay in the hospital.


The Town provides dental benefits on an employee paid basis. The Committee again selected Guardian Life Insurance as the provider for its dental plan with no increase to premiums. Approximately 300 employees have elected this benefit.


The Flexible Spending Account vendor was retained. This vendor provides debit cards for employees to use for immediately payment. Employees can avoid an additional out of pocket expense by using the cards. The plan runs on a September 1 through August 31 calendar to more closely coordinate with the Health Insurance Plan and with the school year. We hope the participation in this plan will grow as employees recognize the tax savings available to them, and become more experienced in planning for medical and dependent care costs. Since this program exists on a pre-tax basis, changes at the federal level may cause plan changes. We will monitor any activity about Sec. 125 of the Tax Code to ensure we remain in compliance.


Participants on the IAC consistently brought good questions to the process and have been very effective in exploring alternatives, and making recommendations. We appreciate their willingness to do what it takes to manage the benefits and costs. The insurance environment continues to evolve and it seems inevitable that costs will continue to rise. In the coming year we hope we will be able to reach out through the IAC committee to other employees so that there is wider understanding of benefit plans.


Respectfully submitted


Stephanie Lutz

Human Resource Director

Annual Report 2017: Insurance Advisory Committee
Annual Report 2017: Insurance Advisory Committee


You can find the online copy at the Town of Franklin webpage
http://www.franklinma.gov/town-clerk/pages/annual-reports

and specifically for 2017
http://www.franklinma.gov/town-clerk/files/town-annual-report-2017-revised

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"The town has graciously supported our capital requests"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Growing insurance costs have complicated the creation of the school budget, district officials said. 
In a report at the Feb. 14 School Committee meeting, Chairman Kevin O'Malley said the budget process had begun. 
"Every day, we receive more interesting and troubling information," he said. "Today, we ran into the insurance monster that is devouring America." 
O'Malley said the district had prepared for a 7-percent increase in health insurance costs, but had learned that the increase would be 15.8 percent."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20170221/insurance-costs-complicate-franklin-school-budget

The video of the meeting by Franklin TV is available for viewing on demand
http://view.earthchannel.com/PlayerController.aspx?PGD=franknma&eID=432

My recap of the meeting can be found here
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2017/02/school-committee-recap-feb-14-2017.html

screen grab via the remote participation of the School Committee meeting, Tuesday, Feb 14
screen grab via the remote participation of the School Committee meeting, Tuesday, Feb 14

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Berry Insurance Gives $5,000 to Boston Children's Hospital as Winner of 2016 Safeco Insurance® Make More Happen Award

Berry Insurance in Franklin has earned a 2016 Safeco Insurance Make More Happen Award for its community work with Boston Children's Hospital.

The award includes a $4,000 donation to Boston Children's Hospital from Safeco Insurance. Berry Insurance agent, Amanda Spittell, and Boston Children's Hospital also had a story featured on Safeco.com, which awarded the hospital an additional $1,000. For the hospital to win the extra money, at least 50 different individuals had to leave a virtual "cheer" on the Safeco.com story.

Photo Left to right: (L to R)- Kaitlyn Pintarich, President of Berry Insurance; Megan Leibovitz, Child Life Specialist at Boston Children's Hospital; Lauren Wilson, Child Life Specialist at Boston Children's Hospital and Christopher Pintarich, Vice President of Berry Insurance.
Photo Left to right: (L to R)- Kaitlyn Pintarich, President of Berry Insurance; Megan Leibovitz, Child Life Specialist at Boston Children's Hospital; Lauren Wilson, Child Life Specialist at Boston Children's Hospital and Christopher Pintarich, Vice President of Berry Insurance.

Safeco's Make More Happen Awards recognize independent agents who demonstrate extraordinary volunteerism for a nonprofit organization. These awards focus on nonprofits in the areas of health and safety, education and civil service. Berry Insurance was selected for the Make More Happen Award based on a photo and application demonstrating its commitment to Boston Children's Hospital, which serves Boston and the surrounding area by providing care, leading research and educating the next generation.

For 10 years, Berry Insurance employees have collected Halloween costumes for children to wear during the hospital's parade and trick-or-treating events. The insurance agency has provided nearly all of the approximately 400 patients, and their siblings, the chance to participate in Halloween.

"Safeco is committed to encouraging agents to make a difference in their local communities, and through the Make More Happen program, we enable them to directly support the programs where they personally see the greatest need," said Meghan Chase, Safeco Insurance northeast territory manager. "We are thrilled to see so many agents participating in this program, and we're proud to help them support the local charities they care about most."

Throughout 2016, Safeco will select a total of 66 independent agencies for the awards and donate up to $330,000 to the nonprofits they support. The Make More Happen Awards are a part of Safeco Insurance's Agent Giving Program.


About Safeco Insurance

In business since 1923 and based in Boston, Mass., Safeco Insurance sells personal automobile, homeowners and specialty products through a network of more than 10,000 independent insurance agencies throughout the United States. Safeco is a Liberty Mutual Insurance company.

Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified insurer and the fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2015 direct written premium data as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual is ranked 73rd on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2015 revenue.

For more information about Safeco Insurance, go to www.Safeco.com.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Annual Report - 2015: Insurance Advisory Committee


Each of the municipal and school unions, as well as retired employees has a seat on the Town of Franklin Insurance Advisory Committee. It provides recommendations to the Town Administrator on health and dental plans. Meetings are an opportunity for employees from the unions to learn about insurance products, industry trends, and to help identify ways to meet employee needs within the framework of the Affordable Care Act, Massachusetts General Law, and available financial resources.

With the further portions of the Affordable Care Act from the Federal Government on the horizon, we anticipate changes, administrative challenges, and premium increases in the coming years. The original quote for a renewal with Blue Cross Blue Shield was in the double digits – an increase unacceptable to the Committee and the Town.

With the assistance of a consultant we requested quotes from other carriers, and received a very competitive quote for nearly an identical plan from Tufts Health Plan. The Committee verified that the match with current providers was very high and elected to make the change. We sponsored informational sessions at six locations so that all employees and retirees had an opportunity to talk with Tufts representatives in person.

The Town continued a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help offset hospital in patient costs. We are happy to report that few of our employees required in patient care. The Town provides dental benefits on a totally employee paid basis. The Committee again selected Guardian Life Insurance as the provider for its dental plan no increase to premiums. Approximately 300 employees have elected this benefit.

The Flexible Spending Account vendor was retained. This vendor provides debit cards for employees to use for immediately payment. Employees can avoid an additional out of pocket expense by using the cards. The plan runs on a September 1 through August 31 calendar to more closely coordinate with the Health Insurance Plan and with the school year. We hope the participation in this plan will grow as employees recognize the tax savings available to them, and become more experienced in planning for medical and dependent care costs. Since this program exists on a tax exempt basis, changes at the federal level may cause plan changes. We will monitor any activity about Sec. 125 of the Tax Code to ensure we remain in compliance.

Participants on the IAC brought good questions to the process and have been very effective in exploring alternatives, and making recommendations. The IAC plans to continue its work gaining knowledge about the full insurance program. In the coming year we hope we will be able to reach out through this committee to other employees so that there is greater understanding of benefit plans.

Respectfully Submitted

Stephanie Lutz
Human Resource Director

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building


Additional information can be found on the Town of Franklin - Human Resources page
http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Human/index

-----------

"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]


Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Individual mandate penalties proposed for tax year 2011

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Robert Bliss on 12/21/10


The Department of Revenue has posted the proposed 2011 penalty schedule for those who are able to afford the purchase of health insurance but fail to do so. The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act of 2006 requires most adults 18 and over with access to affordable insurance to obtain it, and requires DOR to announce a penalty schedule for individuals who do not comply with the law.

The penalties for individuals between 150.1 percent and 300 percent of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are equal to half the cost of the lowest priced Commonwealth Care enrollee premium as of Jan. 1, 2011.

For those between 150.1 percent and 300 percent of FPL (up to $32,496 for an individual or $66,156 for a family of four) the annual proposed penalty is unchanged from last year. For example, an individual who is between 250.1 percent and 300 percent of FPL paid a maximum penalty of $58 a month ($696 annually) in tax year 2010 and is proposed to pay the same penalty in tax year 2011. The same penalty is proposed for a family of four with earnings not in excess of $66,156; however, the penalty is multiplied by two if both parents are uninsured.
Individuals with incomes up to 150 percent of FPL (or less than $16,248) are not subject to the penalty and are not required to pay an enrollee premium for Commonwealth Care health insurance. Neither is a family of four whose income does not exceed $33,084.

For those ages 18-26 whose income exceeds $32,496 or 300 percent of FPL, the penalty for tax year 2011 is proposed to equal to half of the lowest priced individual Commonwealth Choice Young Adult Plan premium without drug coverage or $72 per month ($864 annually), up from $66 per month ($792 annually) in tax year 2010.

For those ages 27 and older whose income exceeds 300 percent of FPL, the proposed penalty is equal to half of the lowest priced individual Commonwealth Choice Bronze premium with drug coverage or $101 per month ($1,212 annually), up from $93 per month ($1,116 annually) in tax year 2010. Again, this penalty is multiplied by two if two parents are in the family.

Things you can do from here:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mr Sullivan - Part 4 (audio)

Mr Sullivan discusses the accounting for the Medicaid reimbursement which even after the transfer of some expenses to other accounts still has a deficit. He summarizes the total deficit as

Attrition impact - $200,000
Medicaid double posting - $300,000
Athletics revenue deficit - $150,000
Insurance deficit - $195,000
Tuition deficit - $671,898
Total - $1,516,898

Appropriation surplus - ($662,296)

Final deficit - $854,602


This section includes questions and comments with Bartlett, Feeley, Nutting, and Susan Gagner - Town Comptroller.

Time: 6 minutes, 15 seconds



MP3 File