Pulaski County has gotten four proposals for employee health insurance, but before they were even opened Monday, county officials spent several minutes trying to figure out what exactly to do with them. During Monday’s joint council and commissioners meeting, Auditor Laura Wheeler explained that the open enrollment period begins July 1, with the new coverage year starting in August.
She once again suggested forming a committee make up of a commissioner, a council member, and some representatives of the various departments to review the proposals and make a recommendation. But the commissioners and some council members felt it would be better to bring in an outside consultant who knows insurance, to make sure they were comparing apples to apples. Wheeler said she’d gotten a couple offers from consultants but hadn’t looked into specific costs.
In the end, the commissioners decided to let Wheeler get quotes from consultants, so they could hire someone during next week’s meeting. After getting the consultant’s report, the commissioners hope to select an insurance company on July 1.
However, Council Member Ken Boswell doubted that the process could be completed that quickly, noting that it typically takes counties a year. “I did this once before, and I have no idea how you would ever get it done,” he told the commissioners.
Wheeler noted that if they aren’t able to follow that time-line, the commissioners could always renew with their current company, Bennett and Shepherd, and switch at some point later. In addition to Bennett and Shepherd, the county also got proposals from Apex Benefits, Consolidated Union, and R&R Benefits.