Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
By Shelley Grieshop
County insurance rates drop
  Mercer County employees and elected officials will pay 2.2 percent less for health insurance coverage beginning in 2009.
Due to a variety of factors including fewer claims submitted the last year or so, the premiums have decreased for the 275 workers covered by the health plan. The new cost for single employees will be $10 per two-week pay period - 21 cents less than this year. Family coverage will cost workers $42.27 per pay period.
The county picks up the tab for 95 percent of a single worker's premiums and 92.5 percent of a family plan. Coverage through the county also includes dental and life insurance.
The new premiums will take effect Jan. 1. Mercer County commissioners announced the adjustment at Tuesday's meeting.
Insurance for county employees is provided through the Midwest Employee Benefits Consortium (MEBC), a five-county, self-insured pool. Included in the consortium is Mercer, Auglaize, Van Wert, Shelby and Hancock counties. The pool was first created in 1993 to give the counties' "buying power" to help keep premiums low.
For 2009 the MEBC pool approved an overall 0 percent increase/decrease for members, based on all five counties' historical claims, employee ages and other factors. Each county then is evaluated and given its own increase/decrease based on individual member data.
For 2008 the MEBC approved an overall 10.8 percent increase, with Mercer County's claim history giving it a net increase of 7.8 percent.
In 2006 the MEBC chose CoreSource, a company based in Lake Forest, Ill., as its insurance consultant. CoreSource's job is to find the appropriate insurance plans to fit employees' needs, select a drug insurer and handle the preferred provider organizations (PPO).
In 2005, before CoreSource came aboard, the county's premiums had increased a stinging 21 percent.
As of Sept. 30, the MEBC pool has collected an overall $13.8 million in receipts (premiums, interest income and refunds) and paid out $10.6 million in claims, fees and other services.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Merger talks held
• Issue 3 addresses property owners' rights related to Great Lakes Compact
• Accounting firm chosen for future state audits
• Potter House expanding coffee bar
a_d
Saturday Night
41°
Clear
Sunday
63°
Sunny
Sunday Night
47°
Mostly Clear
9%
Monday
76°
Partly Sunny
12%
Monday Night
63°
Mostly Cloudy
13%
Tuesday
68°
Rain Showers
80%
Tuesday Night
44°
Partly Cloudy
14%
Wednesday
55°
Partly Sunny
10%
Wednesday Night
39°
Partly Cloudy
5%
Thursday
54°
Mostly Cloudy
14%
Thursday Night
40°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
20%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d
camera_logo Photo Albums
Friday, October 24
index pict
video_logoOnline Video
Thursday, October 2
index pict
Accident at 127 and 119
Monday, September 29
index pict
Grand Lake Marathon