Insurance premiums to increase for 2015

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 14, 2014

The county’s cost for insurance will go up about $92,000 for 2015 premiums for general fund employees not covered by union policies.

That is, however, about $55,000 less of an increase than the year before. Currently the county spends $1.1 million on those insurance premiums.

“The renewal will be a 6.9 percent increase,” commissioner Bill Pratt said.

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This is the second year for the county to be with Cebco, the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio. CEBCO was started in 2004 by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio. Lawrence was the 29th county in the state to join the consortium.

“They have 32 counties and the increases range from 2 to 13 percent,” Pratt said. “That puts us in the middle of the pack. That is about where we thought we would be.”

Right now there are two employee plans: With a $1,000 deductible the employee pays 11 percent of the premium. With a $750 deductible the employee pays 17.5 percent of the premium.

A possible way to reduce that increase would be by changing the percentage employees contribute to their plan.

“If we chose to increase to 18.5 and 12 percent, that would save $12,000,” Pratt said.

That would be for employees not covered by union contracts.

“I think (the increase) is manageable,” commission president Les Boggs said. “We will be able to cover that. I have seen it go up two or three hundred thousand in years past. Unfortunately insurance is necessary and companies are out to make money. We can work through that.”