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Local News


County Board Approves New Health Insurance Plan

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:50:02 CDT

The Montgomery County Board approved a new health insurance plan for county employees during their meeting Tuesday morning.

The board heard a presentation from CIBC President Tony Johnston, who said a renewal with current provider Blue Cross Blue Shield for 2018 would see a 13.2 percent increase; which would be an $88,000 increase to the county and employee cost increase of $37,000 per year.

Johnston said he received a couple of options for a Health Reimbursement Arrangement from Health Alliance for a Point of Service plan or a Preferred Provider Option. The plan would come with a $7,150 maximum out-of-pocket deductible with county funding starting at $1500. For employee-only plans, after the $1500 deductible is met, the county and individual would evenly split the cost of the remaining $5,650; Therefore, an individual would be responsible for a maximum of $4,325 out of pocket. For an employee family plan, each amount is doubled.

Johnston said with the plan, the county could see a savings of $50,000, and the employee could save around $20,000. He added that the risk to the county is agreeing to pay 50 percent of the remaining deductible after the first tier is met. The motion passed with 19 voting yes, zero voting no, and two members absent.

The village of Ohlman was approved funding for the demolition of the old school building. The building had deteriorated and had become a public safety issue. The board approved an amount not to exceed $20,865 from fund 375 to go towards the demolition of the project. Prior to a policy change in 2015, the village was promised funding from the County to help with the project. The prior policy allowed coal funds to be used for such projects.

Board member Ron Deabenderfer said that the board should honor the promise, but be careful about making promises like this before bringing it to the board in the future. The board voted and the motion passed, 19-0, with two members absent.

A vacant seat on the board was also filled during the meeting. Dr. Robert Mulch was nominated to fill the seat vacated by Tim Hopper last month. Hopper stepped down from the board for personal reasons. Mulch's appointment was approved, 19-0, with one member absent at the time of the vote. He was not in attendance at the meeting as he was on a previously scheduled vacation.

Earlene Robinson, who is the board's representative on the 708 board, announced the appointment of a new 708 board member.

Dan Hough was appointed to the 708 board, filling the vacancy left by Ed Schumacher. Schumacher previously stepped down before moving out of the area. When speaking about the appointment, Jeremy Jones said he is appreciative for all the things Hough has done for the county, and that he has been an important part of the community. Hough's appointment was unanimously approved towards the end of the meeting.

When speaking of the senior citizens board, Ron Deabenderfer said Director Lynn Fugate had requested the board discuss the tax levied for senior citizens, which is separate from the county's general fund. According to Deabenderfer, there's a need to educate board members as well as the general public on the tax levy and what the general fund actually covers.

The next Montgomery County Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, at 8:30 a.m.


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