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County’s Health Insurance Costs Could Increas up to 25%

July 13, 2014

Healy Group_logo07/14/14 Last week the Marshall County Commissioners did not get good news from their Health Insurance Consultants, the Healy Group. Tony Nyers said, “It’s been a tough year on the health plan and that will have an impact on your renewal.”
On a positive not he said county employees are using the ER substantially less that the Advantage Health Solutions average and are below the national benchmark. Hospital bed days were slightly less than the Advantage Health Solutions average but substantially higher than the national benchmark.
One reason why the county will see a huge increase in health insurance premiums next year is due to out-of-network utilization. Typically the county’s average is 10% or sometimes as low as 5% but during the past 12 months that number was 23%.
Looking at the overall trend for the last year Nyers said the county had spikes in large claims and hospital usage. Last year the cost was $281,000 while this year that number is $508,000. He said, “The overall trend is going up somewhat significantly.” Cost for chemotherapy support drugs are substantially increasing with a 12 month cost of over $146,000.
Looking at the bottom line Nyers said the premium billed in 2013 were $1,420,658 while the claims were $1,483,452. He then showed the first quarter of 2014 which showed claims at $732,877 while premiums paid were $382,524. Tony Nyers said the county could expect an increase of 20 to 25% for next year’s health insurance benefits.
The Healy Group will seek competitive quotes from the entire market trying to find the best program for the county. There are several options that will be considered next year including the possibility of county employees paying a much larger portion toward their premiums. Currently they pay a dollar a month and it was discovered that they could pay up to 5% of the actual cost without losing the grandfather clause.
The Healy Group will present several options to the commissioners in the next month or two.