County employee medical costs show no increase

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


The supervisors received good news about the renewal for the county?s benefit package for 2018.

Amber Day, human resources and safety coordinator for the county, presented the employee benefit package for 2018 during the supervisors meeting Tuesday morning.

Day told the supervisors the county?s medical plan wouldn?t increase next year.

?The county will continue to provide the coverage that it has for the previous year,? she added.

For dental, the county would continue to pay for the employees only. There would be a 57 cent increase, so the county would contribute $28.92 to each policy, Day said. The county doesn?t contribute to vision rates and there was a slight increase, but Day didn?t say how much.

The Health Savings Account contribution limits set by the IRS have gone up to $50 for an individual and $150 for family, she said. Flex limits went up $50, which is also set by the IRS, with the limit going to $2,650. Dependent care has gone to $5,000.

Open enrollment meetings will be held Nov. 9 and Nov. 14 for county employees. The county?s open enrollment period will be Nov. 14 through Nov. 28, Day said.

Washington County treasurer Jeff Garrett said the past 10 years the county?s health premiums have only increased 1 1/2 percent.

?That?s a pretty big deal to me and we also need to keep in mind the biggest payer of those premiums is the county and the fact that we?re able to hold those steady again is going to be a huge savings to the county next year,? Garrett said.

Supervisor Abe Miller said he heard that morning the state of Iowa will have a high increase in health care costs.

Washington County auditor Dan Widmer said the city of Washington is dealing with a 30 percent potential increase in their health care premiums, which is a lot of money.

Washington County engineer Jacob Thorius said the employees needed to be credited for this because they are making sure they are getting the appropriate tests and everything is billed correctly.

?They?re taking advantage of the wellness program also,? Miller said.

?I agree,? Day said. ?That?s come a long way. I mean not everybody participates, and they don?t all have to; for some people it?s been fun.?

The supervisors approved the renewal of the county?s benefit package for 2018 unanimously.

The supervisors also approved a resolution for the 28E agreement with the City of Riverside, the 28E agreement with the City of Riverside and the amendment to the Iowa DOT Federal Aid agreement for the Riverside Road overlay project from Spruce Avenue to River Street in Riverside.

The supervisors will meet next Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., at the courthouse due to Election Day.