Council Approves Spending $34,150 Per Second With No Questions Asked

It only took the Naperville city council a total of 94 seconds to approve spending $3,210,146, which equates to $34,150 per second, and the kicker is that not one member of the city council asked one question. It’s so easy and so much fun for Naperville city council members to spend money when it’s not theirs. They see the money as theirs because they squeeze it from the good folks of Naperville. If they need more or want more they just take it. It’s just money. It’s that simple.

Watch and listen to the Naperville city council as they unanimously vote (9-0) in favor of the following three agenda items without discussion and without asking any questions:

  • Approve the recommendation by GCG Financial to award the medical insurance renewal to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for a one-year term and for an amount not to exceed $2,750,860.
  • Approve the contract with CVS-Caremark for a one-year term for pharmaceutical management services.
  • Approve the contract with OPTUM-Unimerica Insurance Company for a Specific Stop-Loss Reinsurance Policy for a one-year term for an amount expected to be $459,286.

This comes one city council meeting after city staff said there were no additional ways to cut expense in the budget, and Naperville city officials ‘bought it’. Score one for city staff on that deflection. But why would the city council question that answer, when spending is so much more fun than saving. Business and private enterprise strive to drive down expense without compromising quality, because it’s their money, but Naperville city officials are not held to that standard, because it’s not their money, so why discuss it or question it.

City officials would probably answer it by saying it was questioned and discussed prior to the vote, but city officials have no problem asking questions during council meetings that they already know the answer to, but they do so to get it on record, and to “inform” those watching and listening if the answer benefits city officials.

Citizens are getting hammered with medical costs and insurance, trying to figure out ways to get decent coverage with premiums they can afford. For them to see the council slide this through so quickly without informing the residents why it’s such a good deal, is a dis-service to the good folks of Naperville.

Unanimous votes, in 94 seconds, without one single question from a council member can be defined in one word, shameful.

Show 5 Comments


  1. Hope'n and Pray'n

    Seems to me that some basic questions could have been asked:
    – How does this amount compare to last year’s cost?
    – Did it go out for bids?
    – Did coverage change?
    – Did staff look for ways to save?
    – Did the covered employees number change?
    – Did employee costs change?

    But maybe the council relies on city staff to do their jobs well and rubber stamping is just part of the process. We can only hope about the first part…

  2. Joe

    Privileged class. What about United Healthcare Humana HCA. Goes who pays the bills. Us.

  3. John

    This action should not surprise anyone since the council is not accountable to anyone . They never heard of cost savings .

  4. Jim Haselhorst

    Actually the first item approved was “Approve the Recommendation by GCG Financial to Award the Medical Insurance renewal to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) for a one-year term and for an amount not to exceed $2,750,860.” Notice the part about “Recommendation by GCG Financial”. This is the company hired by the city in 2014 to negotiate the city’s Healthcare contracts through 2019. So this was not negotiated by city council or staff but a company who’s expertise is in negotiating the best Heathcare packages possible for organization (governments, companies, charities, etc).

    Had the watchdog or anyone else critical of these three items actually read the documents related to them, provide online with the meeting agenda, they would have been able to make informed and intelligent comments on this 91 second vote. These the documents discuss the RFP process GCG Financial used in making these recommendations.

    The BCBS item was actually for this company to provide claims processing services not insurance coverage (the city like all government organizations is self insured). So BCBS of IL will be reviewing claims and making benefits determination, but the city will be paying and benefits determined by them. This $2,750,860 fee is a 4.3% reduction over last year.

    The CVS item was to continue to use this company to manage the city’s Pharmacy Benefits, so again they are contract to get the city the best possible pricing on prescriptions, The decision to contract once again with CVS-Caremark was based on their performance in reducing city pharmaceutical expenses last year.

    The last item was the OPTUM contract. This actually is an insurance policy for stop loss reinsurance that goes into effect in the event of an individual catastrophic claim in excess of $200,000 for the HMO and $300,000 for the PPO. This insurance limit city liability in these instances and provides stability to the city’s self insurance policies. OPTUM was the lowest bidder of the seven companies requested to provide a bid and was 20% lower then the next lowest bidder – Blue Cross Blue Shield.

    GCG Financial also recommended raising the premiums that employees pay for these benefits and the council’s yes vote on this items puts those premium increases into effect.

    Learning these facts only took two extra mouse clicks and less then 5 minutes of reading.

    • Kevin Piket

      There is no reason for anyone to make two extra mouse clicks and do less then 5 minutes of reading when we all know you will just respond to each post doing all of the work for us…it took me under 2 minutes to read your post and to write this post…saving me at least 3 minutes in total. Keep fighting the good fight Jim!

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