County takes steps to trim insurance cost increase

Greene County is assuming greater risk in its self-insurance program and county employees will pay more for their insurance benefits with the renewal agreed upon by the county supervisors at their Dec. 19 meeting.

Under the current plan, the county pays the first $30,000 in medical expenses for covered employees out of a self-insurance pool. Expenses above $30,000 are reimbursed by the county’s stoploss carrier. That stoploss amount will increase to $40,000 with the renewal, with a resulting savings of nearly $75,000 in annual fixed costs.   The change trimmed a proposed 27 percent rate increase to 8 percent.

The county and the bargaining unit that represents secondary roads employees have already presented initial offers in negotiating a two-year contract that will go into effect next July 1. Based on the current proposal, the supervisors approved changes in the health benefit plan.

The county currently offers two plans: a $500 per person/$1000 per family deductible with a $500 per person/$1000 per family out-of-pocket maximum (OPM); or a $1000 per person/$2000 per family deductible with a $2000 per person/$4000 per family OPM. Those options will be available through 2017. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, the deductibles available will be $1,000 or $1,500.

Also, under the current contract an employee choosing single coverage  pays $10 per month of the premium; those who take family coverage pay 15 percent. Beginning July 1, 2017, employees will pay 2.5 percent ($19.29) per month for single coverage. That rate will increase to 5 percent July 1, 2018. Employees will continue to pay 15 percent for family coverage.

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