10/18/2018 10:19:00 AM Cass County Board: Employee health insurance premiums won't increase in 2019
MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent
WALKER-Cass County will not raise any employee benefit costs for 2019, the county board decided Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Cass has a self-insurance program for its employees. It contracts with insurance carriers to administer the programs.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield administers Cass' primary employee health plan.
In 1991, Cass had $179,708 in its self-insurance fund, or two months of expected payments. By the end of 2017, the self-insurance fund increased to $5,809,021, or enough to pay out claims for 16.46 months.
Chief Financial Officer Sandra Norikane said a study recommended the county carry enough in its insurance fund for 13 months of expected claims. She does not expect costs for the coverage to exceed that in 2018, so recommended premiums not increase for 2019.
The county had 404 employees enrolled in its health insurance program as of July 2018.
Cass pays $1,045 per month per employee for that insurance coverage.
Employees then pick a health plan, ranging from a health savings account with a $3,375 deductible to regular insurance with a $3,000, $2,000 or $1,000 deductible. They also choose between coverage just for themselves, for themselves and one other person or for their whole family.
Monthly premium costs range from $616 for a health savings account plan for only the employee to $1,719 for a $1,000 deductible family plan. The single person can use the $424.10 difference between what the county pays and his health savings cost to buy optional insurance (or take it as taxable wages), while the $1,000 deductible family plan user must pay $678.90 per month in addition to the $1,045 the county pays.
The county payment also provides each employee with $10,000 in life insurance. The employee may buy additional life insurance at a cost to the employee if the employee chooses.
Employees can buy voluntary insurances at their own cost through county-available programs for long- and short-term disability, dental, vision or critical illness and accident.
Some employees find it more cost-effective to take a high-deductible health plan the county provides and then buy the illness and accident policy, which helps them recover some of the deductible cost, the county reported.
Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.