Insurance talk heats up at county finance meeting

Insurance talk heats up at county finance meeting

Employees’ health insurance options were reviewed by the Macoupin County Board’s finance committee at their meeting Tuesday, July 21.

Under the current plan, the deductible is $2,500 per person or $6,500 for a family; the employee is responsible for only $500 of that amount, as the rest is covered by the county. The maximum yearly out of pocket amount is $5,000 per person or $9,000 per family. Coinsurance is 80 percent in-network and 60 percent out of network. Copays are $30 for a standard office visit; $50 for specialist visits; $75 for urgent care; and $150 for emergency room visits. For inpatient or outpatient care, as well as major diagnostic tests such as lab work, X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, employees must pay the deductible, and then the coinsurance amount applies. Prescriptions cost $10, $30, or $50, depending on the drug.

For that coverage, the total monthly cost of insurance is $592.77 for an employee; $1,254.76 for an employee plus one family member; or $1,518.38 for an employee plus two family members. However, the employee only pays 10 percent of that amount; the rest is covered by the county. The county’s total annual premium is $1,102,756.

To keep the plan the same, the cost of insurance would go up by 11.8 percent this year, which would increase the cost to $662.54 per employee; $1,402.45 for an employee plus one family member; or $1,697.10 for an employee plus two family members. Overall, that would mean an annual increase of $129,796 for the county, making the annual premium $1,232,552.

Don Snodgrass presented the committee with two options to reduce the increase amount.

The plan with a 7.3 percent increase would raise the yearly out of pocket maximum per person to $6,350 ($12,700 per family), with the employees taking on that full amount, provided they need to use the full amount. The cost for a specialist visit would increase to $60, and the cost of an emergency room visit would increase to $250, but no other changes would be made.

With that plan, the premium would be $635.98 for an employee; $1,346.23 for an employee plus one family member; or $1,629.06 for an employee plus two family members. The county’s total annual premium would increase $98,595 to $1,183,141.

The second plan option has an increase of 5.5 percent. It would raise the deductible to $3,000 per person; the family deductible would actually be lowered by $500, to $6,000. The yearly out-of-pocket maximum would increase to $6,250 per person or $12,500 per family, but the county would cover $500 of that per person, leaving employees responsible for the remaining $750 if they use the full out-of-pocket amount. As with the other plan, specialist visits would cost $60, but emergency room visits would cost $300. No other changes would be made.

For that plan, the premiums would be $626.73 for an employee; $1,326.65 for an employee plus one family member; or $1,605.37 for an employee plus two family members. The county’s total annual premium would increase $62,073 to $1,164,829.

Snodgrass said he still expects to receive a rate proposal from Blue Cross Blue Shield, but it is not in yet. He, County Clerk Pete Duncan, board member Bill Harding and possibly Board Chairman Mark Dragovich will meet with representatives of each of the unions on Friday to discuss the options; currently, the contract with two of the unions states that the employees’ portion of the insurance must cost no more than $59, so either of the proposed options would require union approval before they can be selected.

In other action, the board approved a transfer of $18,500 into the tort liability fund to pay the county’s portion of the worker’s compensation audit cost, with recent payments from the highway and health departments covering their portions of the total $31,960 cost.