February 21, 2024

Supervisors review employee health insurance

As Union County Board of Supervisors continue to research the fiscal year 2025 budget, Monday they reviewed the employees’ health insurance plan and learned of an option.

Supervisor chairman Dennis Hopkins said the county’s plan last year were noticed.

“We want all options. We didn’t change anything, but premiums went up 20%,” he said. Hopkins added the county did have larger claims last year.

Keith Duncan, representing Holmes Murphy, an insurance broker with offices in metro-Des Moines and across the country, was aware of Hopkins’ concerns. He said he has noticed how more common speciality drugs are becoming with patients, costing patients and insurance providers much more.

Duncan informed the county of the Iowa Governmental Health Care Plan. The plan includes 47 entities, mainly municipalities like cities and counties, with more than 11,000 members. Union County has 65 health insurance policies for employees that range from single to family coverage.

“This has gone from hundreds of members to thousands,” Duncan said about IGHCP.

He added the benefits of the plan are how its can provide partial self-funding to meet entity needs has lower administration fees and better management of renewal costs because of the volume of members. Duncan said because of the volume of policies, 3% increases are common. Dental, life and disability policies are available. The plan is affiliated with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Ringgold, Guthrie, and Montgomery counties are the closest members to Union County. There are 16 counties participating. Central Decatur and Van Meter school districts also participate.

Supervisors did not take any action. County will further pursue the proposal including premiums per employee.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.