Various issues regarding insurance were the bulk of what was on the plate of the Clay County Commissioners Monday.
The majority of the discussion focused on the potential of joining other counties and municipalities in joining a multi-county health insurance plan.
Commissioner Paul Sinders explained they were initially approached with the idea last year by a Parke County Commissioner and had attended meetings describing the plan to see how it compared with the county's current plan.
"The new rates and coverage details were presented to us in a meeting on Sept. 23," Sinders said. "However, in comparing the details with the plan the county currently uses, I do not see where the new plan would be a substantial improvement."
Sinders explained the new plan would come with a 2-percent increase in premiums, with more increases to come in the next few years.
"Over the next couple of years, all of the entities and municipalities would see adjustments in premium rates until they came together at a common rate for all those on the plan," he said. "Right now, Clay County has a lower rate than many of those which showed interest."
Along with the higher premiums, Sinders said there were a couple of other less than satisfactory aspects about the plan.
"With the new plan, there are no vision or dental benefits and it would be an additional cost," he said. "While the county's dental and vision plan are not necessarily the greatest, it still comes with the current package. Plus, the county would lose some of its control as to what we would want in the plan locally with each entity only having one vote."
Given these factors, along with the commissioners receiving no complaints about the current plan after sending out a survey months ago, they approved a motion to not participate in a multi-county insurance plan at this time.
"Of course, things may change some time down the line," Sinders said. "Should that happen, we may look at it again because we want to make sure we do what is best for the county employees."
Meanwhile, the commissioners also approved the automatic renewal of the county's auto and liability insurance, along with a summary plan description for a retirees health insurance plan.
Along with the auto coverage, which went down about $15,300 -- due mainly to fewer Workman's Compensation claims being filed -- the commissioners approved additional liability coverage for employee benefits errors and omissions should mistakes be made in filing claims.
The retirees health insurance plan will be part of the county's current health insurance plan. Some of the restriction of the plan state an individual must have retired after June 30, 1989, be at least 55-years-old and had at least 20 years of service, with at least the last 10 years with Clay County Government.
Among other business during Monday's meeting, the Clay County Commissioners:
* Approved a resolution authorizing the purchase of an emergency generator from the City of Brazil for $1. The Brazil Board of Public Works and Safety had approved the purchase during its Sept. 9 meeting, and Commissioner's President Charlie Brown said the generator would be utilized, if needed, at the Clay County Courthouse, and
* Approved an amendment of service for the Chinook Mine Rail Study. The amendment is allowing for additional GIS mapping of the area, along with other services, as there were monies available from the $250,000 in grant and matching funds after the initial scope of work had been completed. The matter was approved pending the review and approval from legal counsel and as long as additional work did not push the total cost beyond the $250,000 threshold, and
The next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be at 9 a.m., Monday, Nov. 2, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.