Before the discussion on insurance renewal
began, the committee briefly discussed the results of a survey given
to employees. Seventy-one employees responded anonymously, which is
over 50 percent of the total employment under the county.
The committee will look over the results of the survey before
next month's meeting. In glancing at some of the comments submitted,
the committee members have been able to infer that most county
employees would like to see the current insurance plans maintained.
Health Alliance renewal options
Jodi Dacer presented the committee
with figures on the losses incurred by Health Alliance due to large
insurance claims over three coverage periods:
May 1, 2010-April
30, 2011 -- a loss of $304,804
May 1, 2011-April
30, 2012 -- a loss of $281,304
May 1, 2012-Dec. 31, 2012 -- a loss of
In total, over the last three coverage periods, Health Alliance
has lost $870,760 since May of 2010. Health Alliance analyzed the
three coverage periods in order to uncover any trends in the figures
and came up with the average per member, per month figure that would
be necessary to sustain the plan. With the addition of
administrative costs, the average calculated came to $562.59.
Chairman Jan Schumacher expressed concern at these figures, as
she believed the county insurance was in better shape. Nancy Schaub
responded by saying that since last August, a number of large claims
have been filed.
Dacer added that specifically there have been six claims that
account for $417,507. Dacer said that out of those six, two of the
claims are considered finished, with the other four being considered
In order to maintain the current plan with Health Alliance, the
premium paid by the county would have to increase by 35 percent to
make up for the losses.
Committee member Kevin Bateman performed some brief calculations,
saying that such an increase would require $20,000 more every month,
or just under a quarter of a million dollars in expense to the
county or the employees.
"If we were only to take the current period, it would have
required a 55 percent renewal increase," said Dacer. "We're looking
at the history and weighing that."
Currently, the county offers three options within their insurance
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Dacer also put together some recommendations to reduce the
increase in renewal fees.
The first option
is to make a few changes to two options of the overall plan,
reducing the renewal increase to 27.79 percent. These changes
would include an alteration of copayment amounts and outpatient
The second option
is to consolidate all employees into one POSC plan, lowering the
increase to 32.83 percent. This plan would also include copay
changes. Dacer also said this type of plan is very popular with
Health Alliance customers.
The third option is to consolidate all
employees into one PPO7500 plan, which would result in a minus
0.13 percent renewal change.
Dacer told the committee that the changes in the plans provided
would be competitive with the type of coverage that will be seen in
the exchange environment in 2014, when the Affordable Care Act goes
into effect. The exchange will provide a way for individuals to buy
health insurance under the new federal laws if employers do not
participate. Health Alliance will be part of that exchange.
Bateman told the committee that he has spoken with other business
owners who are considering dropping their insurance plans in order
to provide employees with extra taxable income to buy their own
insurance. The county could also do this in May of 2014 instead of
Schaub told the members that the county could not enter the
exchange as one entity until 2017 due to the size of the employee
The committee decided to have a special meeting in order to
provide the employees with information on their insurance plans and
what could be done to alter their coverage, if anything should be
done at all. The meeting will be at 5 p.m. Feb. 26 at the
"Just for the record, I don't like delivering 35 percent renewal
increases," said Dacer at the end of the meeting.
Committee members present were chairman Jan Schumacher, Andy
Anderson, Kevin Bateman, Bill Martin and David Hepler. County board
member Robert Farmer was also present. Nancy Schaub of R.W. Garrett
Agency and Jodi Dacer of Health Alliance were present to provide the
[By DEREK HURLEY]