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BROOKFIELD Trustees question rebate given to township employees



Published: Mon, January 14, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Anthem paid the rebates from money it received by going public.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

BROOKFIELD -- Two township trustees are questioning why township workers received insurance rebates when they don't pay the premiums.

J. Philip Schmidt said he and Gary Lees have asked the Trumbull County prosecutor for an opinion on why the windfalls of more than $900 each went to employees.

Trustee Janalyn Saloom wasn't asked to sign the letter to the prosecutor, Schmidt said, because of a possible conflict of interest. Saloom is covered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is paid by the township.

Anthem has been the township's health insurance carrier for two or three years, Schmidt said.

Schmidt said he doesn't know how many employees have received the rebate.

Conversion: On June 18, 2001, the board of directors of Anthem Inc. approved the conversion from a mutual insurance company to a publicly held company.

Anthem began trading Oct. 30, 2001. It offered 55.2 million shares of common stock and $230 million of equity security shares.

Net proceeds for Anthem's offering was $2.1 billion, according the company, and was distributed to the company's 1 million members.

Premium payments: Schmidt said the township, which pays the premiums for employees, hasn't received any rebate, while employees who don't share in the cost of the premiums got them.

"I just thought it shouldn't have come back to the employees as a bonus," Schmidt said.

"I'm sure Anthem knows what they're doing. Is there anything we [the township] can do?" he asked.

Schmidt said his wife is covered by Anthem through her employer, but hasn't received a refund.

The rebates haven't helped everyone.

Schmidt said he knows of a woman with Anthem insurance who received a rebate. Because it increased her income, she lost a small veterans pension she received because her husband was a World War II prisoner of war.




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