(Crown Point) – Health and workers compensation insurance costs for the city are on the decline, bucking national trends of climbing rates.

During a special meeting Thursday the Board of Works and Public Safety approved 2012 contracts for both insurances representing a 15 percent decrease in health care insurance costs and an 11 percent decrease in workers compensation costs.

"The trend is at a 14 percent increase (for health insurance). You guys have decreased instead of increased," said Dana Culpepper Cooper of Maverick Insurance, the city's agent.

She said the company looked at four different carriers for the city and ended up staying with the current provider which offered the best rates. The city, which is partially self-insured, was able to reduce its maximum exposure to claims by $728,000.

Kelly Zullo of Neace Lukens, which represents the city for workers compensation, said the same trends hold true for workers compensation insurance.

City initiatives such as the creation of a safety committee and manual and implementation of a return to work police policy have helped the city shave on insurance costs.

"We continue to see a significant improvement year over year," she said.

In a separate move officials also announced a new prescription drug benefit card available at no cost to all city employees and Crown Point residents.

Mayor David Uran said the city has partnered with the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns and the Indiana Drug Card to offer a free discount prescription drug card to residents of the city and surrounding area.

Beginning Friday residents will be able to log onto the city's website and apply for the card.

There are no restrictions to membership. Discounts of up to 75 percent are available on medications for the uninsured or underinsured.