Aug. 08--VALPARAISO -- The Porter County Board of Commissioners are considering offering employees, elected officials and other health insurance participants only a high deductible plan.
Another option being considered is increasing the cost of other plans to make the high deductible option more attractive.
Porter County could save up to $2 million a year if everyone were on a plan with annual deductibles of $2,500 per individual or $5,000 per family, said Stewart Miller, a Lafayette-based certified employee benefit specialist.
The potential annual savings drops to $970,000 if 70 percent of the participants join the high deductible plan and $360,000 if 30 percent enroll.
The majority of participants currently opt for the lowest deductible plan offered, which costs $75 a month for individuals, $100 for participant and spouse, $125 for participant and children, and $175 for a family, said Mike Anton, the plan's servicing agent.
The commissioners, who could make a decision in two weeks, are looking to ease the growing cost of employee health insurance.
The county budgets $15,800 a year for each of the estimated 600 employees, elected officials and public defenders on the self-funded health insurance plan. The county spent about $9 million this past fiscal year on the plan.
The high deductible plan would offer a health savings account that unlike a flexible savings account, has a balance that can be carried over from year to year, Anton said.
In other business Tuesday, county attorney Elizabeth Knight announced the commissioners have dropped their intention to file a public nuisance lawsuit against the operators of a commercial compost facility in Union Township that has generated odor complaints from nearby residents and schools.
The state has been working with the operators of the Duneland 28 site at 300 N. County Road 550 West to address the problem, which appeared to have been caused by grass not composting quickly enough, she said. There have been no odor problems since last year and well water has tested fine in the area, she said.
As a result of the state's involvement, Knight said the county has no legal basis for a suit.
(c)2012 The Times (Munster, Ind.)
Visit The Times (Munster, Ind.) at www.nwitimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services