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Insurance provider is chosen by commission

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Scott County news

BENTON -- Scott County commissioners have selected a new health insurance provider, saving the county money.

During their regular meeting Tuesday, commissioners accepted the bid for health and life insurance from the American Community insurance provider through Associated Industries of Missouri.

The plan was offered by Broker Benefit Services of Chesterfield.

The county's present carrier, Blue Cross, was going to increase the county's premiums by 21 percent to renew the current policy.

Total annual premiums under the new plan will be approximately $72,000 less than what the county and employees paid last year.

"It's actually a 17-percent decrease from the plan we had in 2006," Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel said. "And basically the same coverage."

The co-pay on prescription drugs changed from $8/$25/$45 to $10/$25/

$40, according to Count Clerk Rita Milam.

Under the plan for 2007, each employee will contribute $51.08 and the county will put in $289.45 for a total monthly premium of $340.53 per employee.

Coverage from Blue Cross this year would have cost a total of $497.33, up from $409.99 in 2006.

The preferred provider organization for the new policy will be the Healthlink Network.

"What is so good about this bid is when you are seeing all these increases in premiums and decreases in benefits, that we're actually seeing a decrease in what we are paying and the benefit level will stay the same," Commissioner Jamie Burger said. "We're within 99 percent of what we had before. Overall it's very close."

Life insurance premiums will be the same as in 2006.

In other business, commissioners confirmed they decided last week to not raise dispatching charges to emergency response entities in 2007.

"We have discussed it and decided to leave them at the rates they are paying now," Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn said. "As it stands now, we are not going to make a rate increase."

"The County Commission is going to keep working toward getting the Scott County Communications Center operating as efficiently as possible," Priggel said.

Commissioners are expecting state statutes will be cleared so a county E-911 board can be formed in 2007.

"We're also hoping the state legislators will address the 911 problems with declining revenue that every county is experiencing in the state," Ziegenhorn said.

The county will continue to subsidize the E-911 fund with general revenue funds in 2007 budget, according to commissioners, at least until a E-911 board can be put into place.

"We're just going to stay the course," Burger said.