During Monday's meeting of the Clay County Commissioners, Cathy Dunn, president of Dunn and Associates Benefit Administrators, Inc., Columbus, Ind., outlined details about insurance coverage during the past year and options for renewal.
"In a typical good year, the loss ratio is around 80 percent," Dunn said. "From July 1, 2008, through the end of April, the county's ratio was 69.1 percent, which is a great year."
Dunn added in the past couple of years, the percentage of employees selecting generic variations of name-brand prescriptions has increased from 30 percent to 71.9 percent this year, which saves the county on premium costs.
"In addition, the county has also doubled its cost reserves through investments and other means," she said. "We had a bad couple of years, but things are coming back around."
Although medical insurance inflation has been much higher than cost-of-living inflation in recent years, Dunn informed the commissioners the county can renew its plan with the same exact terms at a reduced cost from last fiscal year.
"Things have been helped out by the county averaging about $200 less in claims per employee per month this year," she said. "To maintain the same coverage would be about $812,000 with Alliance Insurance."
However, she suggested switching the county's insurance pre-certification carrier to save even more and receive better service.
Dunn added there have been issues gaining claims information from hospitals recently, and included other plan options for the commissioners to consider.
"Most of the options are at a reduced rate for the county," she said. "However, there are a couple that would be an increase, but none would be a huge amount."
With the abundance of information provided by Dunn, the commissioners signed a disclosure statement to lock in the long-term information, but did not decide on a renewal plan during the meeting.
"I would like a little more time to analyze the information more thoroughly and break down each of the options more closely," Commissioner Paul Sinders said.
The commissioners agreed to conduct a work session later this month to focus solely on information regarding potential insurance plans.
Meanwhile, Norman Crampton with the United States Census Bureau requested the commissioners assist in getting the word out about the upcoming 2010 census.
"Field work began about two weeks ago to gain address information to send out the census forms," Crampton said. "We want to make sure the word gets out that this is coming and it is very important."
He added Census Day is slated for April 1, 2010, and short forms will be sent out around March 2010.
"Unlike the long form some received for the 2000 census, a short form with four questions will be sent this time," Crampton said. "The four questions will ask for the individual's name, age, sex and racial origin."
Crampton said the information provided to the Census Bureau remains confidential for 72 years, and is most likely released after that time for genealogical purposes.
The commissioners entered into a partnership with the Census Bureau to make an effort to release public information regarding the census.