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CEBCO not good idea, insurance agent says

Switching employee health insurance to a county consortium may not be a good idea, Lawrence County’s insurance agent told the county commission Tuesday.

Dave Brown, of Brown Raybourn and Associates of Ashland, Ky., said he compared the quote sent by the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio (CEBCO) to what the county has now and said the CEBCO proposal is approximately $500,000 higher than what the county pays now for health insurance for its employees. The county pays approximately $4.1 million a year for health insurance.

Brown said he looked at CEBCO’s risk, cost, benefits and whether it would meet the county’s needs. He also expressed concern that CEBCO is a self-funded venture.

“In 33 years I have never recommended a self-funded (insurance entity),” Brown said.

Commissioner Les Boggs asked CEBCO for a quote in an effort to save money on health insurance — one of the biggest expenses the county has — but said he agreed with Brown that the price tag was too steep for the county.

“I will not vote for anything that will end up costing the county any more than what we’re spending now,” Boggs said.

CEBCO is one of at least two insurance entities the county has approached this year in an effort to find a less expensive alternative to what they have now. The county has also explored the insurance offered by Central States, the entity that provides insurance to the Teamsters Union.

County employees at the 911 dispatch center, treasurer’s office and engineer’s office are all represented by the Teamsters Union. In the end, the commission opted for United Health Insurance through Brown Raybourn.

“I think it’s good we check into rates at different times,” Commissioner Doug Malone said.