The Jobs and Education Partnership, a unit of Enterprise Florida, has been designated to manage workforce development programs throughout the State. The Hillsborough Regional Workforce Development Board implements this state-wide strategy and oversees all local workforce development initiatives County-wide.
With the smooth transition, on July 1, 1998, of City employees to the County's program, a consolidated service delivery area has been created. Hillsborough County has assumed all service delivery responsibility. The consolidation will produce significant cost savings, administrative streamlining, and better integration of services to the public.
Although employee insurance for health, workers' compensation, and general liability continues to be costly, efforts to control costs are slowing the escalation. The City's estimated cost for these insurance programs is $28.1 million in FY99.
From 1993 to 1997, health care costs stabilized for the City, as large numbers of employees switched from a traditional indemnity plan to managed care plans. Presently, 96% of all City employees are enrolled in a health maintenance organization (HMO). To this point, managed care has met or exceeded the City's expectations for controlling health care costs and providing employees with accessible care at a reasonable price.
Several recent trends in health care delivery are converging, forcing the City to re-evaluate its health insurance programs. An aging population, more expensive technology, newer and higher priced prescription drugs, new federal and state mandates, and pressure from health care providers for increased rates may erode the savings from managed care recently enjoyed by the City.
In the future, the City will continue evaluating the efficiency of the health plans' performance. The issue will be to find the health cost carriers that provide the highest quality of care in the most efficient way.
Workers' Compensation costs have been a substantial part of the City's insurance expense and efforts continue to control these costs. The City recently developed a managed care solution to the Workers' Compensation problem. The managed care approach integrates services including a medical provider network that offers a quality assurance program and cost containment features such as utilization review, case management and an employee tracking system designed to reduce lost time. Results from our loss reduction program have been impressive.
Long Term Disability
The City of Tampa contracted to provide long term disability insurance for eligible City employees. This plan covers long term illness and injury, enhancing the overall employee health benefits program.