The Dublin school district is expected to save $2.3 million on insurance for employees next year.

The Dublin school district is expected to save $2.3 million on insurance for employees next year.

Dublin school board members this week approved life, dental, health and vision insurance rates for 2012.

Treasurer Stephen Osborne said that on three of the four insurance plans, the district is sticking with existing carriers. On health insurance, however, a change should save money.

“We’re changing health (insurance) from Anthem to Medical Mutual,” he said. “It’s the first time we’ve changed in 20 years.”

The change is expected to save the district $2.3 million in 2012 for health insurance. For 2013, the district could shop around again or stick with Medical Mutual. Health-insurance prices will increase by no more than 14 percent, per a cap negotiated.

According to the insurance rates approved by the school board, employees will pay $565.13 next year for health insurance for one person; the family rate is $1,788.40. This year employees are paying $539.33 for a single person or $1,171.19 for a family.

Dental insurance costs $38.36 for one person or $107.42 for family coverage. Vision insurance is $8.50 for single coverage or $24 for a family. The 2012 rates will stay the same.

Salary and benefits for employees take up the lion’s share of district costs.

According to the five-year forecast, the district expects to pay $113 million for wages and $38.9 million for fringe benefits in the 2011-12 fiscal year. The district budgeted $166.6 million in total operating costs.

For the 2012-13 fiscal year, the district expects to pay $41.6 million in benefits.

Board member Gwen Callender applauded the district for looking at different insurance plans.

“There’s a lot of complacency with jurisdictions that don’t go shopping for their insurance coverage,” she said. “It is critical to shop.”

In other school board news, the district recognized four Bailey Elementary School students for their participation in the Midwest Kodaly Music Educators of America Conference.

Students Zoe Borja, Morgan Ludke, Ananya Kumaresh and Ellie Redman were chosen to participate in the honors choir that performed at the conference.

The board also recognized Riverside Elementary School and its Imagine Garden, which won an Education Garden of the Year award.

Teacher Lynsey Burkins told board members the students researched community problems and decided to fight hunger via a community garden. Students raised money and formed partnerships with local businesses to fund the garden, she said.