Starke County employees who said they would pay a higher health insurance premium in exchange for greater levels of coverage may have that option if enough people opt to do so. The county commissioners agreed to offer an optional Anthem benefit plan, but it will only be available if at least 10 percent of county employees choose it. Office visit co-payments for primary and specialty care physician office visits are less, but the employee is responsible for 100 percent of the cost difference over the county’s basic offering. That’s an extra $100 per month for an individual with coverage, and more for someone who picks the family plan option. The commissioners note that this may be a better deal if someone sees the doctor frequently and say their hope is to give employees alternatives from which to choose. However, they also note that more providers are in network with Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield than were with Cigna, so higher levels of coverage for out-of-network providers may not be an issue.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.