County avoids 20% health insurance hike

Chooses Rx carveout to save money


MIO — The county has made changes to its health insurance plan that will help it avoid a 20 percent increase in price at its recent Nov. 13 board meeting.

This comes after the county was informed in a previous meeting that the current plan price was increasing, as more was paid out in claims than was taken in by premiums throughout the last year. Previously, Commissioner Jack Kischnick said he believed the county would have a difficult time paying the policy if the 20 percent increase was implemented.

Commission Chairperson LaNita Olsen said the plan chosen will increase the bottom line by roughly 14 percent from the last year. She said overall this will net nearly a $88,000 increase in cost to the county.

Olsen said she thinks this is the best plan the county could have decided on for its employees. Commissioner Wayne Nutt said the county chose to eat the brunt of the increase on purpose.

“We could have dropped that number more at a cost to employees,” Nutt said. “But we chose not to do that.”

The county has agreed to provide a Blue Care Network HMO with a health reimbursement account with $250/500 deductibles, $1,000/2,000 coinsurance maximum, co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums. It will carve out prescriptions from the plan, instead getting prescription coverage through AroRx, which is provided by the county’s health insurance broker 44North.

Resident Rick Monk commended the commissioners on choosing an option that is less of a burden on employees. He said he is glad the county asked for employee input when deciding on a plan.

Sheriff Kevin Grace said the benefits the county offers are often one of the more enticing facets of working for it.

“It’s hard enough to get potential employees to Oscoda County,” Grace said. “Sometimes the benefits are the only carrot we have to dangle.”


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