The Board of Supervisors held three separate meetings on March 22, 24 and 26 as they weighed their options regarding healthcare insurance benefits for county employees.The board listened to Steve Preader, the IPEP representative for Wayne County, in the March 22 meeting as he presented his UnitedHealthcare renewal proposal for the county employees.
Preader began his proposal stating even with the challenging year he was pleased with what he had to present the county.
“One of the things IPEP does is instead of buying the real expensive, rich plan from insurance carriers, we buy a higher deductible, higher out-of-pocket plan that’s still fully insured that doesn’t have as much risk with it as a self-funded plan,” said Preader.
Preader stated most of IPEP’s people are currently on the $500 deductible plan. He stated the plan options could be altered to become more affordable, however that would change benefits to the employees.
With concerns regarding the current out-of-pocket expense to the employees and the county, the board wanted to look at other options for the healthcare benefits for county employees. Supervisor Don Seams contacted ISAC group benefit partner Ryan Berven seeking an additional option that could possibly be more affordable for the county employee healthcare options.
Berven was in attendance at the March 24 board meeting to present another option for the county.
Berven stated the county could switch to Wellmark for the first two years with an option to join ISAC in the third year. He stated the switch to Wellmark with nearly identical plans as the current one, could potentially save employees $800 while saving the county at minimum $85,000 a year.
Needing to make the change by the April 1 deadline, the board called a meeting March 26 where they passed a resolution to request termination with IPEP United. The request for termination must be approved by the IPEP board for the county to move forward with the transition to Wellmark healthcare.
The board is aware the longterm savings and benefits by making the switch to ISAC would be beneficial however employees would see a $165 per employee, per month savings with Wellmark in the first year.
A public hearing has been set for Monday, April 19 at 9 a.m. for the Fiscal Year ending 2021 Budget Amendment.