Mt. Vernon Register-News

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November 23, 2013

Health Alliance preferred health provider

MT. VERNON — A scheduled 30-minute Services Committee meeting on Thursday night turned into a two-hour marathon.

Five proposals for health insurance for Jefferson County were made, which led to a lengthy discussion about which plan which best fit the county's needs.

The county's current health insurance policy with United Health Care ends on Dec. 31.

In the end, a proposal submitted by Dave Spalt of Health Alliance was recommended for approval at Monday's full board meeting. Bruce Hapeman of the Hapeman Group is the serving agent for all proposals given.

Each plan had varying risk factors, although the Health Alliance plan was reportedly one that was described as a "middle of the road" risk factor.

In the end, it was Chairman Robert White — the only county board member with insurance experience — who recommended the Health Alliance plan. Board member Jeremy Hall made a motion to table any recommendation until the full board meeting on Monday night which died for a lack of a second.

The Health Alliance proposal, called a Health Reimbursement Arrangement, is a fully-insured plan, according to Spalt. It has higher deductibles — $1,000 per employee and an out of pocket expense of $1,300 — but the county will pay a maximum of $5,200 per employee annually. The maximum detectible, per employee, is $7,500. The plan includes office visits and emergency room co-pays with an 80/20 format. The total cost estimate provided for each employee is $653 per month.

Spalt said similar plans have been adopted by the City of Carbondale, Ferrell Hospital and Franklin Hospital.

A base Health Alliance proposal was also submitted with a $1,000 deductible for 80/20 coverage and an out of pocket expense of $2,000. The cost per employee proposed was $653 for employee, $1,874 for employee and spouse, and $1,241 for employee with children. The plan did not include dental or vision coverage.

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