Paychecks will be a little smaller in May for Davis School District teachers participating in the district's health insurance program.

The Board of Education voted unanimously this week to increase the employee contribution to help reduce a deficit in the district's self-insurance program. The board also approved a number of benefit reductions to help bring the program back into the black.The changes are viewed as short-term solutions, and a committee will study whether the district should continue its self-insurance concept, whether a new carrier should be considered, and use of brokers in finding private insurance packages. They will also look at prevention programs and consider whether a less comprehensive health care package should be offered.

Superintendent Richard Kendell said insurance is a tough issue with long-range implications. Projections indicate health care costs will continue to escalate faster than most other costs.

The changes in the program include having employees increase their donation from 10 percent of the premium to 15 percent, and requiring employees to pay 30 percent of the cost of prescriptions. The district will continue to pay 90 percent of the premium cost. This will allow 5 percent of the premiums to be used to help erase a $500,000 deficit in the program.

The plan must be ratified by the district employees since insurance benefits are part of the contract negotiation process. Kendell said the proposed plan was developed from the results of several proposals to the teachers, which means the plan will likely receive the needed ratification.

Kendell said the district hopes to have the changes in effect by May 1.

The changes will affect only the current contract year. Any permanent revisions will come out of contract negotiations for the next school year. Those negotiations are now in progress.