Insurance for Starke County Employees to go up Next Year

Starke County Commissioners: Kathy Norem, Dan Bridegroom and Jennifer Davis

Miguel Salazar, from First Source Insurance, appeared before the Starke County Commissioners this week to bring them up-to-date on health insurance costs for 2012. Even though premiums are going up, Salazar pointed out how employees can reduce their co-pay by accumulating wellness points.

Salazar pointed out the importance for the employees maximizing their total points to reduce their premium.

“Just to give you a point of comparison, when we reviewed this assuming no change in premiums, you estimated the family’s portion would go up $7.78 per pay if they maxed out on their wellness points and got everything. If they didn’t, then it’s estimated to go up $33.00 per pay,” explained Salazar.

Even though premiums are scheduled to increase for employees, Salazar said, “On the county’s side, even for the families, you’re paying 82%.”

Commissioner Jennifer Davis pointed out that the County pays out over a million dollars for health insurance for the 89 employees and families and said,”that’s
a large chunk of the county’s budget.”

Commissioner Kathy Norem, who has worked closely with Salazar and local representative Bridget Markin, said the coordinated effort has saved the county thousands of dollars.

“What we’re going to be paying next year is about $600,000 less than two or three years ago when we came into office,” said Norem. “We have really done quite a bit to ratchet that down.”

Norem called the health insurance provided an excellent plan, even if premiums for the employees co-pay is going up.