Mississippi County News
CHARLESTON - Health insurance premiums for Mississippi County officers and employees will stay the same until March 1 even if some families decide to drop from the plan.
"We've got people looking for dependent coverage," said Junior DeLay, county clerk, during Thursday's county commission meeting.
How many employees would actually drop coverage on their dependents depends on if they are able to insure them elsewhere, DeLay said.
Rick Reed of Brink Insurance Company said drops would not raise premiums right away. "Those rates are good for a year," said Reed.
Also present during the meeting were Deke Lape, Susan Morris and Rob Mitchell of the Mitchell Insurance Agency. "I'm just here to answer any questions you might have," said Lape.
Lape said although American Community Mutual is only rated C+++ as compared with Trustmark's A- rating, they will vouch for American Community, established in 1938. "We give it to our employees at Mitchell Insurance," said Lape.
Mitchell also discussed how many employers are going to higher deductibles for lower premiums and that many are using supplemental insurance such as AFLAC to offset the higher deductibles.
Jim Blumenberg, presiding commissioner, said county officials will look over the plan.
Reed said he and Tom Story, also from Brink Insurance, didn't know the Mitchell Insurance Agency representatives would be making a presentation during the meeting or they would have come another time.
"We didn't realize you were still looking," said Reed.
DeLay explained that Mitchell Insurance was just following up on the county's original request for a plan by April 1.
Reed said the difference between an A rating and a C rating is the A-rated companies are significantly more financially stable
"There's nothing lower than a C," said Reed, although he conceded a C+++ is better than a regular C rating.
Officials also discussed gathering a list of outstanding claims falling under the TRG company's responsibility to pass on to attorney John Oliver. "We're going retain him to help get our insurance problems straightened out," said Blumenberg.
Officials estimated total outstanding claims may be as high as $200,000. "We've got some big claims out there," said DeLay.
In other Mississippi County commission business:
* Commissioners discussed replacing the drainage pipes passing under state highways OO and 77 as they are too small and are sitting about two feet too high.
Officials plan to replace the 30-inch diameter culvert under Highway 77 with a 48-inch culvert.
As the culvert passes beneath the road at an angle and will be about 100 feet in length, commissioners figured on four 25-foot culverts banded together.
Commissioner Homer Oliver recommended using the largest bands available, which he believed to be three-feet.
Despite the drainage problems, Oliver said the state would never touch the culverts on their own unless they fell in.
Blumenberg said they should plan to replace the culverts at about the same time in August or September when the water will be lowest in the ditches.
* DeLay said the insurance company covering the county's heavy equipment has values listed for the county's motor graders that are higher than what they paid for them.
"They're showing about double what we insured them for," said DeLay.
DeLay said they may need to raise the coverage amount as the insurance requires insuring for 100 percent of the value or the company may pay less in the event of a claim.
* Blumenberg said officials will check on installing a filter system for the courthouse to prevent problems with the automatic flush valves.