The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting Tuesday concerning a rise in health insurance premiums for county employees. The meeting came just days after the BOC decided to give their employees a 3% raise. Matt Bidwell of MSI Benefits presented the details of the policy changes and made recommendations to the board.
Apparently the Board of Commissioners were just notified about the premium increases earlier this week.
“My biggest concern is that we just don’t have enough time to understand what we’re really getting into. We’re talking about something that will affect the county by almost a million and a half dollars in insurance. And I don’t like just having one or two working days to make a decision,” said post commissioner Dallas Miller.
The new premiums total $1.8 million annually, up from $1.6 million, with employees covering $411,000. A large portion (4% of the premium or $70,000) is due to new taxes being implemented from the Affordable Care Act.
“If the ACA had not passed, the original $1.6 million premium would have been $140,000 less. This (increase) is just pure taxes and benefit increases,” Bidwell explained to the board. “The $70,000 tax increase is going to subsidies.”
The board voted to go with Bidwell’s recommendations, which keeps costs the same by increasing the deductible from $1500 to $1650, and places a separate annual deductible of $200 for new prescriptions. Employees will have the option to keep the old plan and pay the premium increases out of pocket.