A contract renewal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is expected to save the county around $200,000 in the next year.
"When we had initially started negotiations with Blue Cross, in talking with them, we were led to believe we may see as much as a 20-22 percent increase in our premiums over the current premiums," said Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner.
Discussions between Blue Cross Blue Shield, MSI Benefits, the county's insurance broker, and Dawson County Human Resources Director Jay Sessions resulted in a 6.5 percent increase rather than a 20-22 percent increase, as originally anticipated.
"It's still an increase, but it's far below what we had anticipated in our 2009 budget," Tanner said.
Coupled with cost-cutting measures the county has in place, such as utilizing county-owned buildings instead of leasing office space and volunteer citizens in administrative capacities, Tanner said the $200,000 is a significant taxpayer savings.
"I'm very proud of Jay and the human resources department for their efforts along with the other county employees in finding ways to cut costs," he said.
While the county will see a savings, county employees will see a slight increase in their insurance premiums.
"They'll still receive the same benefits, just at six percent higher, split between the county and the employee, so my family coverage for health insurance I pay will go up six percent," Tanner said.
The Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved the new contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia on Aug. 21
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