Insurance claims are running high right now for the Cigna health insurance plan offered to Pulaski County employees. Gibson Insurance benefit consultant Bob Zavacky told the commissioners Monday that claims are running at about 180-percent utilization at the halfway point of the year and show no signs of letting up. He says three sizable claims in particular are driving the county’s costs up.
“We had one, which this individual is no longer on the plan, but through December claims just for that individual were about $687,000,” Zavacky said. “The next highest claimant is about $270,000, and then we’ve got a premature baby that’s about $97,000.”
Zavacky says brand name prescription drugs are one of the factors that are driving costs. One script for the premature baby costs almost $5,000 every time it is filled. Zavacky and local insurance agent Dave Bennett plan to conduct a work session with the council and commissioners soon to talk about ways to reduce costs next year. They anticipate a 25-percent increase in the county’s costs due to the implementation of the federal health care law. Zavacky suggested making generic drugs mandatory and increasing the out-of-pocket cost for the most expensive name-brand medications as ways to save money.