County insurance may increase 12 percent

The county’s insurance cost is expected to raise about 12 percent next year — the first significant increase in several years, a consultant reported to Madison County Commissioners on Monday.

Commissioners received a quarterly report from Mike Kendell, a benefit specialist with the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio (CEBCO). The county has been with CEBCO for about five years.

Other counties in the consortium are seeing increases of 3 to 16 percent, said Kendell. He attributed Madison County’s increase partially to one large, $200,000-plus claim.

In general, CEBCO is seeing “high claims and high utilizations,” he added.

Commissioner Paul Gross said policy changes such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act could likely be attributed to the increase, as opposed to the large claim. He also referenced the county adding employees of the engineer’s office plan to the rest of the county’s plan for the first time.

“We’ve been really lucky,” Gross said. “We’ve been basically flat-lined, with a small decrease three years ago.”

Gross questioned why CEBCO does not allow employees to mail order prescriptions for more than 30 days at a time. He said the county “shops around” for everything else, so employees should have the choice to mail order or get their prescriptions filled through a pharmacy.

Kendell said he would report Gross’ concern back to CEBCO.

In other business:

• Jim Canney, superintendent of the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities, requested the commissioners’ support with placing a renewal levy on the November ballot.

The 1.3-mill levy was first passed in 1995. It generates about $1 million for the agency, which last year had a $5.1 million budget.

The board of DD provides programs such as Head Start, family support, transportation, Special Olympics and Madison Community Housing.

• Nick Adkins, assistant prosecutor, requested commissioners appropriate $60,000 of additional funding for forfeited funds. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has been very “active” in Madison County lately, collecting about $75,000, he said.

Through an agreement with the OSHP, the prosecutor’s office receives 80 percent of the funding.

It will be used for the drug task force team.

• Commissioners met in executive session with Madison County Sheriff Jim Sabin to discuss security. No action was taken.

Andrea McKinney can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.