Tipton County halves county employees' health premiums

Tyler Juranovich, Kokomo Tribune, Ind.
·2 min read

Apr. 27—TIPTON — Tipton County employees will now pay half of what they used to pay in health care premiums.

The Tipton County Commissioners unanimously approved Monday halving what county employees pay in premiums per pay period. Employees will see the change on their May 28 paycheck.

Now, county employees will pay $38.25 in premiums per pay period for a single employee, $86.50 for employee and spouse, $78.25 for a single employee and child and $114.75 for a family plan.

That's compared to $76.50, $173, $156.50 and $229.50, respectively, county employees were paying in premiums before the change.

The cuts in the premium are possible due to a high utilization by employees of the IU Health network, which gives county employees "extremely deep" discounts for services compared to other hospital networks, and thus lowers the amount the self-funded county plan has to dole out, Doug Heath of McGriff Insurance Services told the commissioners.

"Given the good performance the plan has had, there's definitely money in the county budget to do this," Heath said.

According to information compiled by Mcgriff Insurance Services Inc., county employees are billed by IU Health network 84.1% of the time, followed by Encore Health Network 12% of the time and First Health Network 0.4% of the time. Just 3.5% are billed out-of-network.

The change comes after a recommendation from the county's personnel committee, which met earlier this month for a couple of hours to find ways the county could possibly raise employee and jail officer wages.

The reductions come just a few months after county employees also had their deductibles lowered and a little more than a year after the county increased its contribution to employee health savings accounts.

Last year, the county lowered single plan deductibles from $2,850 to $2,500 and single plan out-of-pocket maximums from $4,850 to $4,000 effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Family plan deductibles were lowered from $5,600 to $5,000 and out-of-pocket maximums from $9,500 to $8,000.

The county's HSA/HRA contribution also increased in 2019 for 2020 to $1,400 for single plans and $2,800 for family plans, up from $1,300 and $2,600, respectively.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich