When Capistrano Unified officials agreed in November to , critics sniped that it was fiscally unwise in the face of state budget cuts.
But on Thursday, the district announced it had saved $61,000 with the move.
In exchange for picking up the tab for higher health insurance costs, the district asked the teachers' union to urge its members to shift to less expensive HMO medical plans run by Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser, the district said in a press release.
The strategy led 133 teachers to switch from pricey point-of-service health plans to an HMO, the district said. And that shaved $390,000 off premiums paid by the district, resulting in projected overall savings of $61,110 for 2012.
If the trend continues, future years could see additional savings, officials said.
“I am glad that we were able to negotiate these savings with our teachers and look forward to finding even more ways to extend the district’s limited resources,” school board President Gary Pritchard said in the press statement.
Teachers' union president Vicki Soderberg agreed, calling it a "win-win for everyone."
During the district's annual “open enrollment” period for health benefits, 133 teachers moved from the Anthem Blue Cross POS, which costs up to $17,731 a year for a family of three or more, to HMOs that cost about $3,000 less, the district said.