Some Fayette employees to pay more for insurance

Tue, 04/28/2009 - 3:31pm
By: John Munford

County to charge partial premium for those with single coverage

Fayette County employees will remain on Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance for the coming year.

But there will be a big change for some employees, as the county will require those getting employee-only coverage to pay 30 percent of their premiums, Human Resources Director Connie Boehnke told the County Commission Thursday night.

Previously the county paid 100 percent of the premiums for those with employee-only coverage. About half of the employees use employee-only coverage, Boehnke said.

The concept of having those with single coverage pay 30 percent of premiums was derived from the current percentages paid by employees in other coverage tiers, Boehnke said.

The plan will cost the county $4.4 million next year, the same as this year. The extra funds from the premiums paid by those with employee-only coverage will be earmarked for an account designed to build up a medical reserve fund so the county can consider being self-insured next year.

Doing so would put between $385,000 and $400,000 in the medical reserve account, Boehnke said.

The plan does come with some minor changes from this year’s plan, including a $500 copay for hospital admission, increases in prescription copays and a copay increase for primary care or specialty physician visits from $15 to $25.

Commissioner Eric Maxwell said he did not like being put in a position where a vote was required by the board on the matter. County Administrator Jack Krakeel said the county’s consultant “had difficulty getting claims history from our previous carrier.”

“And that’s the heartburn I have. We’re about to vote these guys in,” Maxwell said of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield decision.

In a separate insurance decision, the commission voted to renew its property casualty insurance with Public Risk Underwriters for $415,000. Maxwell noted that several years ago that premium was $738,000 but as soon as the current commission bid it out, it dropped to $471,000.

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