WALKER -- The Cass County Board approved an employee insurance program Tuesday calling for the county to contribute $590 per month toward single or family health plans for each employee in 2004, up $70 per employee this year.
This represents an 11.86 percent rise for the county share.
Overall, the base health plan without a deductible will jump 50 percent. The county also offers $500 deductible and $2,500 deductible plan options, each of which will rise about 14 percent.
Chief Deputy Auditor Larry Wolfe told the board he expects a number of staff to shift to the $500 deductible plan in 2004, because of the high jump in the no-deductible program.
This year, 57 employees are enrolled in the county insurance program having a $2,500 deductible, 243 have the $500 deductible plan and 63 have the no-deductible plan.
Under the change, he said, anticipated wage increases for 2004 will offset higher insurance costs employees pay toward the program. No one should end up with a net loss, he said.
Changes to the program for 2004 allow employees to pay for long-term disability and additional life insurance if they chose.
Industry-wide, Wolfe said, health insurance costs are increasing between 20 and 40 percent this year.
The county insurance committee will review retiree insurance options early next year. The county proposed 2004 budget anticipates retiree benefits will cost $322,100 in 2004.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.