Superior’s City Council hired a new broker for its health insurance plan in an effort to reduce costs for providing health benefits to employees.

After paying about $6.3 million in net health claims in 2018 — 9.4% of the city’s total spending — the city’s Finance Committee decided to seek proposals for health insurance broker services. Those services are currently provided by Holden Insurance of Superior.

The Committee met behind closed doors for about 90 minutes Thursday, Oct. 10, before recommending Marsh & McLennan Agency, with offices in Duluth, before unanimously approving the company’s proposal in open session.

The city received six proposals, and a hiring panel made up of one city councilor, members of the Health Insurance Committee and representatives of the Human Resources and Finance departments reviewed the proposals and invited three of the companies to be interviewed Sept. 24.

After the interviews, the hiring panel had open discussion about the brokers, voted to recommend Marsh & McLennan Agency and asked that this recommendation be brought to the Finance Committee.

Assistant Finance Director Ashley Puetz said the company was chosen because it demonstrated the strongest understanding of cost containment measures for the area, has a local presence that makes them available to attend wellness and insurance committee meetings in person and because it best demonstrated the ability to cover the needs the city requested.

Marsh & McLennan’s $72,500 fee will be paid from the city’s self-insurance health fund, and it is expected to come from savings from containing costs and a reduction in claims.

The Council approved the contract Tuesday, Oct. 15.