Still not enough info? Birmingham Council waits for data on planned health insurance spike

UPDATE: Source says council members received email "short on substance" {}Wednesday night regarding rates increase

Birmingham City Council members are still waiting on information from the Mayor's Office regarding a planned insurance rate increase for some retired employees, ABC 33/40 has learned.{}

The Council has planned a second work session Thursday with the Health and Benefits Board to go over what has caused the increase as well as other options for making up a deficit. The City's Human Resources Department leader insists increasing insurance rates for retired workers under the age of 65 would help the city's finances. The rates for most in that group would more than double each month under the plan starting in September.

But at least one council member says the group hasn't been given necessary information to make an informed decision.

The Mayor's Office Chief of Operations Jarvis Patton told the Council Tuesday it would receive information by Wednesday at 3 p.m. That did not happen.

"How productive will the conversation be tomorrow with last-minute information," Councilwoman Kim Rafferty tells ABC 33/40.

Rafferty pushed for a two-week delay at Tuesday's council meeting to rescind the council's previous vote that authorized the rate increase. During a discussion, councilors, including Lashunda Scales and Steven Hoyt, said the increase was unfair and other cost-saving measures should be considered. Council President Johnathan Austin admitted the Council passed the initial measure without having and understanding all the information from the Mayor's Office.{}

The Council eventually decided to delay the vote for two weeks. But many members insisted the need for more information regarding the hike.

Patton has not returned ABC 33/40's calls regarding the status of that information to the Council. City Spokesperson April Odom says she has no knowledge of information being turned over yet.

If the Council doesn't rescind the vote, the monthly health insurance rates could more than double starting next month.

Stay with ABC 33/40 for more on this developing story.