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Joint Council Commissioners Meeting on Affordable Care Act

June 10, 2013

  06/11/13 The Marshall County Council and County Commissioners held a joint meeting Monday to obtain information on the Affordable Care Act and the affects it could have on the County’s part-time employees.

Tony Nyers from The Healy Group, the county’s health insurance consultant discussed the new requirements that begin in 2014.  Anyone that works 30 hours weekly on a regular basis will be considered full time and must be offered insurance.  Nyers said, “Full time is now defined as 30 hours weekly.” 

Additionally the county will now be required to pay the ACA Insurance Fee of 2.55% on the premium and they will pay a fee of $5.25 per insured person per month.   These new fees will be collected by the carrier and automatically adds a three and a half percent increase to the premium for next year.   It was mentioned that the Affordable Care Act has minimum plan requirements but since the county’s plan appears to be a Cadillac they will have an additional fee to pay.  The ACA also has an affordability clause that limits employee’s premium to 9.5% of their income.  Employees only pay $1.00 per year for their health insurance there is no issue for the county. 

County Auditor Penny Lukenbill presented a listing of part-time county employees who go over the 30 hours weekly limit and those who are close working 25 to 28 hours weekly on a regular basis.  She said there are only six or seven employees that are in the danger area.  It was noted that seasonal employees are not considered in the ACA.  That means mowers in the highway department and clerks in the treasurer’s office during tax time would not be affected. 

The biggest decision the council members had was to determine what they wanted the cut-off hours to be for part-time employees, 25 or 28 hours weekly.   After a discussion with various department heads a motion was approved to amend the Personnel Policy to make part-time work no more than 56 hours in the 14 day pay period. Anyone needing to work more than the 28 hours will have to have their department head seek approval from the council.  Part-time staff that may qualify for health insurance will not qualify for paid vacations, sick days or comp days.

The council will work with the commissioners and the HR consultant to create the written policy for the employee handbook. 

8 Responses to “ Joint Council Commissioners Meeting on Affordable Care Act ”

  1. Andrew on June 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm


    Don’t need to apologize to me — I am a Plymouth native ;-) Actually now that you mentioned something — here Doctors and lawyers *ARE* forbidden to advertise! What is more interesting is that cases are determined based on their “Streitwert” or the actual value of damages [IE: no more $6 Million spilled coffee lawsuits -- just the cost of cleaning of the pants -- if you are lucky]. So Mr. Peter Francis Geracy you can go home (bankrupcy info tapes). Oh and Lawyers don’t get to charge hourly rates, but rather value of the case. If you are a lawyer dumb enough to fight a case worth about $1000 — you won’t get more than that!

    The point about what insurance is and the idea of paying for their own care makes a lot of sense. I priced my policy here (I am privately insured) with the highest deductible — so I saved a lot. The idea of insurance is to prevent the catastrophic cases. I can’t speak for the more senior citizens among us, but I can certainly afford to pay for my care out of pocket — and generally do.

    Well hopefully people with more brains than those currently in charge can evolve this thing into something useful. I personally advocate private policies that you buy and is fully transferable across the entire country. That might even produce more jobs for agents because if I recall correctly, personal health insurance is rare as most people get their though company group plans.

  2. Thor on June 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm


    Apologies for the State comparison…it was OR before the reunification, and then (back in the 70′s when I was there) the population density was 3 x that of CA. Great country though, I hope they can preserve it with the flood of immigrants deluging Europe.

    I agree that litigation lottery is a big problem. I think a loser pays system should be implemented which would make some of these frivolous suits go away. Well, that and going back to making it illegal for lawyers and doctors to advertise.

    I think people paying their own medical bills would help bring costs down. Up till now there has been an insurance and government lottery system that ensures maximum money will be paid. When I was a kid they’d recommend swinging by the dentist once a year, now it’s six months. 80%+ of the radical procedures performed on people are done in the last few months of life. So, it’s like the shampoo wash again recommendation and a huge CYA for legal suites…we did everything. And who cares when someone else is paying the bill.

    Enjoy the Autobahn…when traffic permits!

    Ann F

    What makes you think I feel any level of government should demand you get a medical procedure? I don’t advocate any level of government from the Home Owners Assoc. up telling you what needs to be done with your health care.

    That should be a choice between you and your doctor. Your decision should be based on the realities of your life, to include what you can afford. Your life is your responsibility.

    And let me get this straight, we had to pass it to see what was in it, now we must implement it to see how broke it will make us? Any opposition is ideological and not based on facts because we haven’t been given the actual bill yet?

    Don’t bother stepping out from in front of the oncoming traffic, it hasn’t hit you yet. Right now that’s just a theoretical outcome, not physics at play.

  3. AnnF on June 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm


    “The Federal Government has no business whatsoever to be meddling in the affairs of the citizens.” Would you, please, explain to me why states have business giving a woman a trans-vaginal ultrasound?

    I lived in Japan for eight years. They have a unified insurance system. Not once did I have any delay in receiving service. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure it was the same day.

    Economically, this health system makes more sense than the status quo. Uninsured going to the emergency room, only leaving the tax payers with the tab at greatly higher rates.

    I understand that people fear what they do not know. Having lived abroad, I can reassure you that the Earth will not dissipate, we won’t be covered in flooding waters, and that we won’t lose all of our income.

    The best method is to wait for it to happen, and see what the conclusion is. Right now, it’s just ideologies, not economics, at play.

  4. Andrew on June 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Thor,

    Ack! you got me! :-) I am not embarrassed to admit I lost an argument, you are quite correct. I am a very big believer in the feds staying out of local business. If Ms. Pelosi were to assume the role of Monarch it would be probably as the Red Queen.

    There are still problems, but I have NEVER been in favor of that monstrosity that nobody understands. I believe something is necessary, as it is breaking too many Americans should a big medical disaster come when they are between jobs — which is an all too frequent affair.

    The right questions in this case should be how has this happened that suddenly health costs have ballooned to where they are now? Maybe that has always been the case relatively speaking, however I am of the strong believe that insurance companies meddle too often into affairs that are not theirs to do. I remember going to the Doctors office when I lived on the East Coast and having to drop my drawers each time for a “full inventory”. My first reaction was the guy was fruity, but I later realized that in doing that he could charge for the highest level office visit ($190) when all I had was a cough.

    It’s a vicious circle, Doctors say it costs $40 for a visit based on actual expenditures, the insurance bargains for $30 and the doc is holding the bag for $10. Next time he charges $50 to get $40 — and so it goes. Now add the tremendous costs of liability insurance because it seems to be the season for suing all the time. That adds costs. I think perhaps one of the best things Indiana has going for it is what Gov. Bowen did during his tenure to set up a review process. However I think this needs to be more and more the norm across the country and maybe this Lawsuit sickness will subside. I have nothing against a person getting compensated for actual damage, but some of this is ridiculous.

    Nevertheless, we need to do something to rain in costs — and I think the rest would fix itself. Now let me change gears a bit….

    I drive on the Autobahn quite often, the real problem is that it is rare that there isn’t congestion keeping the flow down (Actually Germany is the size of Texas with 80 Million people). Most of the traffic is from other countries (why I suggested the politicians should introduce a toll on the German autobahns — that would easily pay down the Euro debt financing that is happening! In Austria and Switzerland you get a yearly sticker that costs $50 — low tech, but works). Also despite popular belief, most places on the autobahn have speed limits (75Mph) either permanantly or during certain hours — because of polution [nights after 8pm until 6am it is unlimited].

    Let me conclude by saying ‘Charity begins at home’. We need to stop spending money in places that later come back to bite us {I think examples here are unnecessary.}

    Enjoy your Coffee….

  5. Thor on June 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Hi Andrew,

    America is a Representative Republic, not an Imperial Monarchy; and Nancy Pelosi (and most of her compatriots) is as far from Prince Otto von Bismarck intellectually as she could possibly get. That music was not meant to play here.

    The Federal Government has no business whatsoever to be meddling in the affairs of the citizens.

    Police and Fire are locally funded in the jurisdictions where they are employed. There are federal law enforcement agencies, they had specific tasks that could not be performed by the states, like the FBI being able to cross state lines.

    So, no, it is not the same sort of thing. Continued federal encroachment on states rights and states issues and citizen rights and citizen issues both blurs the lines of responsibility and authority and creates inefficient duplication of effort. In this country the feds were never intended to be the citizens caretaker.

    Taking the government must care for us argument to it’s ultimate illogical conclusion (which it is rapidly approaching) will force us to learn the same lesson that Kublai Kahn learned in Cathay when he tried to build a system to improve the lot of the peasants. After a huge investment of treasure it got worse for the peasants. He asked why, they investigated, the cost of running the bureaucracy to distribute the welfare cost more than the welfare.

    Charity works to improve the lot of your neighbors and makes you feel good. Taxes for those things that are no business of the government just fuel bureaucracy and anger the people. The feds end up picking winners and losers in the tax distribution game based on who their political friends are. IN is a net tax loss state to the federal government, places like NJ are making a grand profit off of the rest of us.

    As an example, when the feds institute a national speed limit they assume that the condition of the roads, the population density, the traffic count, access to public transportation ect. are the same in Montana as they are in Massachusetts. In Germany, a country the size of Oregon, with the excellent Autobahn system they may be able to come up with a good decision on maximum speed in America it makes no sense whatsoever. Anyone who every drove across Nebraska at 55mph would understand that after the first hour or so.

    Here, we would prefer that they stay out of the states and away from the things that are our purview.

    Of course we do need to start teaching self reliance again. The worst thing FDR did to this nation was tell the lazy that it’s okay to take that free lunch (it is easy to break pride with hunger and then build dependence). It should still be a shameful thing that you only do to survive until you get a job.

    He broke what John Steinbeck said about America, “Socialism never took root in America because the poor there see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    Let’s go back there America.

    I don’t want a hand-out from anyone, I don’t expect the government to bankrupt my neighborhood because immortality may be only millions away. I don’t want the government to tell me when to see a doctor or what to eat or not eat or drink. I would like to keep some of the money I make to save for my own bloody retirement, not some loser on a couches free lunch, free health care, free anything. After that maybe I could save some money to give to my children when I die. If the government takes it all that does not get to happen.

    But wards of the state are what socialists want. I curse them all. The wards and their wardens.

    Maybe I need more coffee…maybe not…

  6. Andrew on June 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I have been watching this debate from the beginning until where things are now. A lot of scaremongering on both sides and very little facts about how things are in other countries. It seems the usual and prudent thing to do is to check to see how others do things one learns from their mistakes.

    Having said that, I have been in the German system for nearly 13 years (the English system is not the same as they have a health tax). The German health care system goes back to 1871 — the oldest. The Public system requires families to pay 15% (capped) of their gross income as a health system charge. The government does not run the system, only sets the standards. There are over 100 sickness funds that are non-profit that vie for customers. You buy a policy the same way you do for your car — in fact many companies allow for “bundle” discounts. The policy covers the whole family and the premium is split in half with the employer. There is a private system as well that is risk based that can in certain cases be cheaper, so if one is bound and determined not to pay for the “other man” one can opt out of the public option and go “private” — however this are individual policies, requiring one for each family member(hardly cheaper in the long run).

    In both cases you keep your policy no matter where you work and thus you avoid waiting periods, COBRA and pre-existing conditions — which were the main problems we had before ACA. The other thing here is that you can’t sue for punitive damages in court, only actual damages. This keeps the insurance rates for doctors down. How does this shake out? I pay out of pocket $18 to see a doctor and the care is as good if not better than what I have had stateside. There are no such thing as quotas or “death panels” — and the average life expectancy is 3 years longer than in the USA (Look it up the statistics are published).

    Is this socialism? I suppose so if you can’t opt out, but then again tax monies for the Police, Fire and Street departments are kind of the same order. You are paying not only for yourself–but for others. Not only that your chunk of the pie is proportional to how much you make! (just like our socialized medicine in Germany) This kind of argument begs the question if the police and fire shouldn’t be subscription based — where you don’t get help unless you are a subscriber. That way you aren’t paying for the guy in the bad neighborhood or with the older house.

    Isn’t this kind of the same thing?

  7. CommonCents on June 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Let me get this straight….the “Affordable Care Act” will cost us more money? That statement would be funny if it weren’t true. It’s actually just sad…a sad day for everyone. Doctors will leave the profession. Less high schoolers will pursue the profession and more users will be added to the system. Now just how was this supposed to work in the first place???? I think we sent a man to the moon, but we couldn’t fix our broken health care system with something better than this? I thought the president said my rates would not go up and I could keep my current insurance if I wanted to. Was he not being truthful (again)?

  8. Thor on June 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Well, they voted on it now we get to try and figure out what was in it. It does not look good.

    True to socialism in practice everyone will be drug down to the lowest level while initiative and success will be punished. Or, forced to ‘pay their fair share’ if you prefer.

    Start queuing up now folks, because health care is expensive, doctors are scarce, and the bureaucracy is doing the best it can with the limited resources you give it. If you would only pay more taxes it could be so much better. Hey get that guy, he looks like he makes more than me. The politics of greed says that government knows how to make it all work out ok, you just need to give all your money to them to manage. Nothing short of 100% will do. Take a look at France, top tax rate over 100% now, which means if you make too much money for the bureaucracy to agree to they will take some of your savings too.

    Bureaucracies always fail to perform, health care will suffer, people will complain, they will demand ever greater sums because it’s for the children, the old, the infirm, the needy, and it will never be enough to fix the problem that bureaucracies always fail to perform.

    We SHOULD be concerned for our children, all of their money has already been spent. Nothing that can be taken away from ‘that guy over there’ will fix that sad reality.