County's health insurance rates projected to
Cathy May, Contributing Writer
There will be an increase in the cost of the countys
insurance premium for its employees this year. Just how much is
yet to be decided.
John Gaus, the commissioners consultant on insurance, gave
a lengthy presentation on the options for the county at their
November 5 meeting. This year, 2007, the cost to have 109 employees
in the health insurance plan from Anthem is about $941,500.
Gaus gave the commissioners options from Anthem, their present
provider, and also Humana. Although many other insurance companies
were asked to submit bids on insurance, most declined citing the
groups age and high claim experience as factors.
Two years ago when the commissioners selected Anthem, the countys
loss ratio was 46%, today it is 107%. Gaus explained that when
there is a business with little turnover in employees, the average
age is higher. The countys average age of insurer is 44,
where it is about 34 in other businesses.
Gaus brought with him Jim Schneider, a representative from Humana
to explain their health plan. In it, employees would have an option
of traditional health insurance or a Coverage First Plan. That
is where there is a $500 credit card to be spent on medical bills
before the deductible kicks in. This is a good option for those
who have little medical expenses. Gaus explained that 45% of employees
dont go over the deductible and never get the use of the
insurance they purchase. This Coverage First Plan would
be a good option for them, said Gaus.
If all employees chose the Traditional Plan, the cost to the county
would be $1,168,467 per year. If everyone chose the Coverage First
Plan, the cost to the county would be $990,050. Since there is
no way to know at this time which plan employees would choose,
the exact cost could not be established.
The commissioners wanted to review the plans and asked Gaus to
come back to the next meeting when they hope to make a decision.
In other business, Surveyor Jeff French and Keith Abbott appeared
before the commissioners regarding a maintenance issue on Base
Line Road. Abbott purchased a tract of land at auction and was
told the county maintains the section of road in front of his
After the survey, he discovered the county does not maintain the
road. Abbott was told the road would have to be brought up to
county specs and maintained for a year before the county would
take it over. All parties involved will meet at the property to
look at the road in question.
All three commissioners were in attendance: Robert Reiners, Chuck
Folz and Lawrence Nickell. County Auditor Mary Ann McCoy was present
to advise the commissioners. The next meeting of the Ripley County
Commissioners will be held on Monday, November 19 at 8:00 a.m.
at the commissioners room of the Ripley County annex.