October 7, 2007
HEALTH CARE FOR ALL COUNTY EMPLOYEES—INCLUDING COMMISSIONERS
& OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS
Did you know
that County Employees have free health care? The County
pays 100% of the employees’ premium for health insurance,
the insurance pays 100% of in-patient and hospital costs,
and there is a small co-pay for routine care of $15. As
the insurance rep Mr. Fox told Commissioners at their September
meeting, “I know the employees have enjoyed this. We currently
don’t have a deductible. If a person is receiving
inpatient or outpatient care, there is no deductible to
meet before we start paying that any coinsurance level.
Our coinsurance is 100 percent.”
No wonder the
“loss ratio” is 125%--the insurance company paid out $1.25
for every $1.00 of premiums received. What does
that mean? It means there will be a 35% rate increase.
(Most businesses are seeing closer to 8%-10% this
are $307.55 per employee; increasing to $415.19.
are $898.40 per family coverage; increasing to $1212.84.
taxpayers are now paying $27,526.14 per month or approximately
$330,000 annually for employee health insurance. The new
increase will mean an additional $9,634 per month or $115,609
per year increase—a total of $445,609 per year for employee
wonder why there is such a large loss ratio? Why not? The
employee has no incentive to stay well. If there is no cost,
why not go to the doctor for every little ache and pain?
When asked about
the increase, Mr. Fox replied, “There’s a large amount of
maintenance drugs; RX drugs; a ton of heart attacks, ICU,
large claims. There’s usually around a 90% loss ratio. These
claims are still ongoing.”
Mr. Fox started
to give other options. Option 3 would change the plan to
alleviate the increase. They would offer a HMO/POS plan,
a duel plan. The Co-pay would go from $15 to $25; Rx from
$10 to $15. The increase would be $3,386/mo instead
of $9634/mo. The plan would be identical with
a few increases; those increases would be $5 per person
and $151 per family.
He was interrupted
by Comm. Bernard who made comments about helping the “underpaid”
employees and wanting the county to pay all the premiums.
This policy keeps the Commissioners
from having to pay anything out of their pockets but it
will also continue the high loss ratio and increasing premiums
for the County and the Taxpayers to pay.
questioned the County Manager about how much was in the
budget. The County Manager said, “We didn’t anticipate 35%.
We put 20% in.” This increase and the free health insurance
was approved 5-0. After the meeting 2 commissioners questioned
the fact that employees did not have to pay anything at
all—“Whoever heard of such?”—but no Commissioner had the
backbone to state this in public.
on this article or to let your feelings be known email us
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discussed and enacted.
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