[Nameplate] Fog/Mist ~ 33°F  
High: 38°F ~ Low: 30°F
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

County keeps insurance plan

Friday, December 22, 2006

CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County commissioners said they made the right choice in selecting a less risky but more expensive county health insurance plan.

Commissioners discussed their choice for health insurance during their regular meeting Thursday.

"We're going to stay with Anthem Blue Cross," Commissioner Martin Lucas said. "Even though it was a 33-percent increase, we stayed with it."

The health insurance provider decision was made during a special meeting Tuesday, he said.

Commissioners opted for a plan that raised the deductible from $2,500 to $5,000 to reduce the increase in premiums somewhat.

"We reviewed two or three combinations," Commissioner Homer Oliver said.

Lucas said the partially self-insured plans they were also considering involved too much risk and could have ended up costing the county more than what they will pay in premiums to Blue Cross.

By staying with Blue Cross, "we know what we've got," he said.

Lucas said while the partially self-insured plans would have had a lower premium, they would have been a gamble in which they were betting the county's claims would meet or fall under statistical norms. "I don't see that as insurance," he said.

Oliver said he and his fellow commissioners learned from the experience in which they tried another unconventional insurance plan which ended up taking a lawsuit to get the company to pay employee claims.

"There's no cheap deals," he said. "Hopefully we acted in our county's best interests."

In other business Thursday, commissioners reappointed Claudia Arington, executive director of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, as delegate and Lonnie Thurmond, city administrator for East Prairie, as alternate delegate to the Southeast Missouri Economic Development Alliance.

SMEDA is a not-for-profit organization created to stimulate and enhance economic development in the six Bootheel counties.