Health plan deductibles pricey for county

Published 11:00 am Friday, August 1, 2014

Raising deductibles in Warren County employees’ medical insurance plans is the lone sure way to bring down health care costs in fiscal 2015, the county’s insurance agent said Thursday. 

This fiscal year, 15 employees have hit a $55,000 benchmark in their coverage that prompts the county to pay claims on doctor visits, surgeries and other items. The major claims have put employee health care spending on pace to hit $2.7 million for the year, which ends Sept. 30.

“Would I like to see you raise your deductible? Yes, I would,” said Bill St. Sing, the county’s agent for its self-insured plan under the Mississippi Public Entity Employee Benefit Trust, during budget talks. “But, that’s up to you.”

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Currently, deductibles are $500 per covered person per calendar year and $1,500 on a family plan per calendar year. St. Sing also told supervisors to check on employees’ wellness strategies during the year, such as having regular doctor visits, as a way to hold down costs.

The board adopts its fiscal 2015 budget on Sept. 2.

Under review by county supervisors is a $15.03 million spending plan that allows for 3 percent pay raises for all employees.