The amount of money the city of Paris pays for employee health insurance is going up on July 1, according to Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers.

Rogers said last week that paying for the increase may require budget cuts.

“I don’t know if we can find the money in our budget without cutting something,” Rogers said. “I’m going to have a budget committee meeting and then go to the City Council in June.”

Although Rogers doesn’t know the exact amount of the increase, he said “we have approximately 50 employees on insurance, so I’m guess it’ll be an extra $10,000.”

Rogers said the rate increase was brought about because of increased claims.

“They told us we had too many claims,” Rogers said, “and that required a change. They told us we had $100,000 more in claims than we paid in premiums in the last year so they are going to raise rates.”

The city gets employee health insurance from the Municipal Health Benefits Fund, managed by the Arkansas Municipal League. The city pays 100 percent of an employee’s health insurance premiums and 50 percent of the premium for family coverage above the employee premium. Rogers said the city now pays $373 a month for an individual employee and that will rise to $405. The city pays $823 a month for an employee with family members covered and that’s going to rise to $900 a month.

Rogers also said the increase will have to be factored into the 2018 city budget, as well.

“If it’s $10,000 for the next six months, it’s going to be $20,000 for the next year,” he said. “So, I’m going to look at all our options, including looking for a new insurer. I don’t know if we can find a better deal or not, but I’m going to look into it.”

Roger also said that rates have steadily increased over the last several years.

“When I took office in 2011, we were classed at a level one,” he said. “Then we were a level 2 and now we’re at a level 3.”