Commissioners approve change in county’s health insurance plan

Boone County Commissioners decided Monday to increase the deductible amount for the county’s health insurance plan effective Jan. 1, 2009.

Under the current $1,000 deductible Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan, the county “insures back” to a $500 deductible per person. The new plan will be a $1,500 deductible plan, and the county will continue to insure back to $500.

There will be no real change in the deductible for members of the county’s insurance pool. However, the county will be contracting with Mid-American, Inc., a third party administrator, to reimburse the health care costs of employees between $500 and $1,500 per year. Previously, the insurance reimbursements to county employees were handled through the County Clerk’s office.

The changes were approved after several meetings with Sue Warner, representative of the Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO) Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan.

Warner estimated the change would save the county about $19,000 next year on its insurance premium bill, which totals more than $500,000 on an annualized basis this year.

Mid-American, Inc. charges $6.50 per person per month for its services, and the total for 2009 is estimated at $3,354.