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Commission addresses insurance-related issues

Commission addresses insurance-related issues
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
As work continues on the next fiscal year’s budget, the Obion County Commission tackled some insurance-related issues for county employees Monday night.
The commission made decisions regarding health, dental and vision insurance plans for county employees, but deferred action on making a change to life insurance.
The agenda for Monday night’s commission meeting at the Obion County Courthouse included a presentation on insurance for county employees beginning July 1, and the insurance discussion dominated the session.
The county’s insurance committee met recently and received competitive bids, with committee members comparing quotes in an effort to obtain the most coverage for the best price with the Baptist hospital system included.
Monday night, the county commission approved a recommendation from the insurance committee to use Union City Insurance, which has handled the county’s health insurance for many years, and to go with coverage from Aetna. The employees currently have BlueCross BlueShield.
It was noted there will be a 9.28 percent increase in premiums, but the plan includes Baptist and an emergency room deductible.
Insurance committee chairman and county commissioner Cloney Taylor said those involved feel the recommendation is “the best bang for the bucks.”
Obion County pays 80 percent of the base premium for county employees only, not their families, and the increase will be about $52,000 per year for the county, based on 140 employees who take the insurance coverage. Taylor said it is the first increase since January 2011 and budget committee chairman Jerry Grady said the funds will be available to cover the increase.
The health insurance plan was approved by a vote of 16-0, with commissioners Danny Jowers and Richard Arnold abstaining due to conflicts.
Taylor also presented a recommendation to increase county employees’ life insurance from $10,000 to $20,000 per employee for a plan provided by the county. The premium would change from $2.50 per month to $4.60 per month per employee to double coverage.
However, the commission voted to defer action on the life insurance proposal to the budget committee for further study.
The commission also approved optional dental and vision plans which will be available to county employees. Those plans are paid entirely by employees and there is no cost to the county. They were also approved on 16-0 votes, with both Jowers and Arnold abstaining due to conflicts.
In other action during Monday night’s meeting, opened with prayer led by Union City First Baptist Church pastor Dr. Cecil Sewell and with the Pledge of Allegiance, the county commission:
• Was reminded the county’s budget committee will meet for a budget hearing Thursday at 5 p.m. at the courthouse as work continues on the 2013-14 fiscal year budget. Grady said work on the budget is “just about through” and he invited commissioners to attend the session to offer input.
• Approved a resolution to authorize a continuous five-year appraisal cycle for Obion County.
• Received a review of the financial statement for Baptist Memorial Hospital’s Indigent Care Fund and accepted the report.
• Approved the appointments of Gene Scurlock to the Board of Hospital Governors and Janis Cunningham to the Reelfoot Lake Tourism Council.
• Approved six notary public applications.
Commissioners Allen Nohsey, Kenneth Cheatham and Paul Albright were absent from Monday night’s meeting, held in the circuit courtroom at the Obion County Courthouse.
Published in The Messenger 6.18.13

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