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School district health insurance increasing

The Detroit Lakes School District will see an 11.4 percent increase in health insurance costs in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

That cost will be split between employees and the district. However, the district negotiated the amount paid for the employees and the remainder of the premiums will be paid by the employees.

Group costs vary between custodial, teachers and staff, but the cost incurred by the district will go up from 4.9 percent last year to 6.3 percent this year in the single and family plans.

The Detroit Lakes School Board reviewed the Lakes Country Service Cooperative health insurance renewals at its monthly meeting this week.

"We've had good years and bad years. This year I guess was one of the tougher years," Business Manager Ted Heisserer said.

Premiums have been going up by 9 to 10 percent every year, he added.

Additionally, in the last 10 years, the district's premiums have gone up by more than 50 percent, according to a document provided by the district that explains the history of health insurance rates.

In other news, Superintendent Doug Froke said the district has been committed to participating in the statewide program -- State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) -- since February. The program suggests improving students' health and wellness by increasing and improving space for physical education, updating the classroom snack policy and increasing nursing space.

SHIP also suggests discussing students' health with parents during parent/teacher conferences.

Froke said SHIP representatives will visit with the school board at a future meeting to discuss the results of the program.