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County looking into new insurance provider
Move could save nearly $800,000
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A proposed move to Aetna Insurance could save Dawson County almost $800,000 over the next 12 months.

Jay Sessions, human resources director for the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, said the county’s economic situation cannot warrant such a drastic increase.

“We don’t have an extra $80,000 to put toward this, let alone $800,000,” he said.

In the past year, the county and its employees paid current provider Blue Cross Blue Shield more than $2.25 million in premiums, while the insurance company paid out $2.26 million in claims.

“That resulted in a claims loss ratio over 100 percent, which basically means Blue Cross Blue Shield lost money, and they lost a lot of money on us,” Sessions said.

To renew the policy, Blue Cross Blue Shield would have a rate adjustment of 34.26 percent, which would result in an estimated $794,660 cost to the county.

“We’ve been monitoring this. We knew we were going to have an expensive renewal since the beginning of the year,” Sessions said.

Through a brokerage firm, the county received “competitive bids” from several insurance providers.

Aetna’s bid came in the lowest at a 9.2 percent increase, followed by United Health Care at 15.8 percent, Alliant at 21.66 percent and Coventry at 33.05 percent.

A group of 16 county employees reviewed the options before Sessions presented the bids to the board of commissioners during last week’s work session.

“From conversations in our focus group, the main concern was their contributions that are deducted from their checks and their co-pays for doctor’s appointments and prescriptions,” Sessions said.

The county currently has 223 employees participating in the health care plan.

The board is expected to vote on the measure at tomorrow’s commission meeting.

The new plan would become effective July 1.

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