Davis School District officials say they believe they have worked out a solution to a deficit problem affecting the district's health insurance program but do not want to comment on specific measures until they are sure the plan is acceptable to the program managers.

Superintendent Richard Kendell said the plan includes a small premium increase on the medical portion of the plan as well as proposed cuts in benefits. He said the plan was worked out jointly by his staff and Davis Education Association representatives. The plan has been sent to Educators Mutual Insurance Association, the program managers.The district switched this year to a self-insurance program in hopes of cutting costs for district employees. Some unusual circumstances have resulted in the program operating at a deficit.

The plan would increase the employee share of the premium from 10 percent to about 14 or 15 percent, Kendell said. No decrease in the district share is planned, which would result in a net increase in the premium payment allocated towards the deficit. Among the benefit changes would be implementation of co-payment schemes on some services and an increase in the deductible payment required on others. The dental plan would be unaffected, Kendell said.

"We don't want to give out the specifics until we know whether the plan is acceptable to EMIA," Kendell said. "If they like it, then we will ask the employees to vote on it and ratify the changes before bringing it back to the board."

Kendell said he hopes to have the ratification process completed by the board's April 19 meeting so it can be adopted by the board and implemented before May 1. Part of the EMIA approval will be to set a repayment schedule to recover the deficit. Kendell said the district hopes to minimize the impact on employees by extending the repayment over several months.