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City of Industry paying average of $42,770 annually per employee for health coverage

Brian Anderson

Health benefits for employees are expensive, but this is over the top.

According to a Jan. 9 article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the City of Industry, Calif., pays more than double the state average for health care benefits for many of its 33 employees.

The article says that in 2014, the city paid $57,773 — a staggering $4,800 a month — for health, vision and dental insurance for a dozen employees each, according to data provided by Transparent California, which compiles information on public employee compensation.

“It’s astronomical,” said Robert Fellner, research director for Transparent California. “This is definitely top of the mountain, so to speak.”

City of Industry paid individually between $20,330 and $44,962 for another 15 employees. That brings the average cost of health insurance per employee to $42,770 in 2014. By comparison, Los Angeles paid an average of $13,889 per employee, while Beverly Hills averaged about $23,000.

The recipients of Industry’s highest cost health benefits ranged from its top executives to its lowest assistants. Even two planning commissioners, who earned less than $9,000 a year in salary, received the costly benefit, according to a compensation report. Other employees with similar titles or even identical positions received lower contributions, sometimes less than half what their colleagues got.

City Manager Paul Philips, hired six months ago, offered little explanation for the high health insurance costs. He said Industry doesn’t cover anything unusual or exceptional in its benefits, which are provided through Aetna. City staff are in the process of reviewing the insurance costs, he added.

You can read the entire article here.

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