Commissioners open health insurance bids

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 26, 2002

It was not as bad as they thought it would be, but it was not great, either.

The Lawrence County Commission Monday opened bids from companies that want to handle the county employees' health insurance in the coming year.

Four bids were submitted. However, one bid from Pan American Life, through Ocenture, Inc., did not meet the county's bid specifications and was initially viewed as an offer of supplemental insurance.

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While all the bids were higher than what the county is currently paying for health insurance, all were substantially lower than what commissioners were told to brace for earlier this year.

"It's hard to be excited about a double-digit increase, but in light of the past year it's pretty good," Commission President Jason Stephens said.

Earlier this year, representatives with the county's current carrier, Medical Mutual, through McNelly Patrick and Associates of Jackson, told commissioners to brace for premium increases of 25 to 30 percent.

Commissioners are also pleased with the number of bids received. Last year, the county only received one bid when they asked for health insurance offers.

In addition to Medical Mutual, the other bids were from Nationwide (Horizon Insurance and Financial Solutions, Ironton); and Medical Benefits (Brown Raybourn, of Ashland, Ky.).

Both the Medical Benefits and Medical Mutual bids contained alternative schedules for such things as deductibles and prescription cards, to allow more flexibility and possible savings to the county.

Commissioners will now study the bids and make a decision on what offer to take within the next three to four weeks.