Supes face rising insurance costs
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 1:00 AM
Facing a 35 percent increase in health insurance premiums for county employees, the Board of Supervisors on Monday began looking at budgets for individual county departments as they work to compile an overall budget for fiscal year 2015 which begins Oct. 1.
Allen Hardy of Philadelphia Security Insurance told supervisors that the 35 percent increase in insurance stemmed from meeting requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
"You may or may not know that group health insurance is in a mess," Hardy said, noting that the section of the ACA which provides coverage to all individuals "is kicking in."
Supervisors switched from Blue Cross Blue Shield to United Healthcare at a projected savings of just under $4,000 for fiscal 2014.
Blue Cross had projected up to an $80,000 hike in health insurance premiums for FY 2014.
The county provides healthcare coverage to about 100 employees who also receive free dental and vision coverage at no extra cost.
Hardy told supervisors on Monday that he would have quotes from other competitive carriers for them to consider at their next meeting.
The county currently pays about $265 a month for insurance for a full-time employee while employees contribute about $42 a month toward their coverage.
Also on Monday, supervisors looked at the FY 2015 budget requests for the county library and the museum.
The library is seeking a 1.6 percent increase. Director Jacob Starks asked supervisors to increase the county's share of his budget from $236,200 to $240,000.
Mack Alford, chairman of the museum board, asked supervisors on Monday to increase its budget by about $5,000.
The county currently contributes $10,000 annually to the museum budget.
"We appreciate what y'all have done for the museum," Alford said. "I know money is real tight."
He told supervisors that visitors from all over the United States and even some from other countries tour the museum annually.
"They come here and go to three places: Williamsville, the museum and then to Peggy's to eat," he said. "We are proud the museum is on their stop."
Alford said he was "begging and pleading" for the additional $5,000.