Pella Chronicle

Local News

March 26, 2014

Public Housing loses health insurance

The 2010 federal health care law has forced Knoxville Public Housing, and other small housing agencies in Iowa, to discontinue offering health insurance to its directors.

Health insurance was a benefit offered to Knoxville Public Housing Director Janice Kerner. As the Housing Board assembled its budget for the coming year, it was advised by an attorney that the insurance program offered fell in line with this law’s requirements.

At the board’s March 17 meeting, Kerner reported that she learned at a training that the program’s “cafeteria” health insurance offering was not good enough. To rectify this, the board voted to increase Kerner’s pay by the amount it would have spent on health care coverage, leaving Kerner to take this money to purchase insurance on her own. The board felt this was probably the least expensive way to address this issue.

According to Kerner, her research has shown that this process has become common among colleagues who also work for agencies with 1-10 employees. The board revised its budget to reflect this change.

Other Housing Board notes:

• Wrote off an uncollectible debt of $592. Kerner told the board that $120,000 is collected in rent each year, and writing off only $592 is a good sign. “It was a very good year,” Kerner said.

• Carried over Kerner’s vacation time into the coming year. Kerner has not taken all of her vacation time in the past two years, and it has accumulated. The board instructed her to be sure to take more time off this year.

• Approved a resolution to delete items from inventory. This is largely comprised of appliances that are no longer needed.

• Approved the disposal of old external hard drives.

• Appointed Mel Vander Wiel as alternative hearing officer.

• Approved financial statements.

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