(Memphis) At a time when health care costs are the talk of the country, Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford Junior says there may be health care savings Memphis, Shelby County, the school system and MLGW can make right here at home since they all use the same insurance company, Cigna.
"If there's a way that we can find savings, not only do the schools and governmental entities benefit, but all the individuals benefit," says Ford.
Councilman Ford who works for the county school system, but is insured under City of Memphis pays half of what his school counterparts pay for insurance.
He says the differences depending on where you work can be staggering.
In the school system, the least expensive family basic insurance premium will cost an employee $600 a month.
At MLGW, the bare bones family plan is $400 a month,.
At Shelby County, the cost is $326 for a family, and in the City of Memphis, it's only $322.
"There was a lady from Cooper Young that came to me and said she had to refinance her house to make sure she could pay insurance for her children and her husband," says Ford.
"You have over 40,000 individuals that have the same carrier that could have the opportunity of being in the same pool together."
MLGW says it will be at the table for discussions to look how much can be saved by coming together.
Shelby County officials say most of the entities design their own insurance plans and Cigna Insurance administers them, but they admit having a larger pool with employers from the city, county, MLGW and the schools could mean better rates for everyone.
"If we can save millions of dollars and save the employees hundred of dollars, it's a win-win," says Ford.
Councilman Ford plans to hold a meeting next Thursday to begin discussions on what can be done about insurance premium payments.
Representatives from the city, county, Shelby County Schools and MLGW say they will be there.