During Monday's meeting of the Clay County Commissioners, new rates were approved for the county's health insurance plan.
Included in the approval was a 4-percent increase in premiums, maintaining Alliance/Madison National as the Reinsurance Carrier for the Specific Excess Loss Policy and an amendment to the policy, which includes several federally mandated updates.
"Many health insurance plans are being raised 10 percent or more," Commissioner Paul Sinders read from a prepared statement during the meeting. "We are very pleased that we do not have a large increase for 2010-11. Our employees are to be commended for their help to get health care as low as possible."
Cathy Dunn, president of Dunn and Associates Benefit Administrators, Inc., Columbus, Ind., said some of the updates included in the amendment are in reference to the Children's Health Insurance Program, substance abuse care, Michelle's Law, the COBRA extension of subsidies, among others.
"There will be more changes made to the policy next year due to the recently enacted Health Care Reform Bill," Dunn told the commissioners. "They will take effect on the policy that begins on July 1, 2011.
When it comes to the new policy -- which runs from July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011 -- few other changes were made.
Dunn said the dental and vision portions of the plan have been improved with employees now receiving $350 in benefits, per person, for both, and Sinders added the prescription drug plan remains in place.
"We had a lot of good and positive comments on this change last year," Sinders said. "That change was that we could purchase prescription drugs for 90 days at a cost of only $10 at our own local pharmacy in place of using the mail order service."
In other business, the commissioners signed off on three grants presented by Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband.
The grants are in reference to amateur radio equipment, the salary for District 7 Administrator Melissa Buell and a reimbursement grant for 50 percent of Husband's salary, which is an annual occurrence.
Meanwhile, the commissioners also set up a special meeting for 10 a.m., Friday, to further discuss and consider agenda items not finalized during Monday's meeting, and topics that did not make it on to the agenda. Topics for consideration during the special meeting include:
* Consideration and approval of the E-911 Coordinator position and job description,
* Records management issues,
* Scrap metal at the old jail,
* Workone Summer employment, and
* Revisit request for proposals (RFP's) for the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant to retrofit lighting units at the Clay County Courthouse, Highway Department and Justice Center. One bid had been received from Midwest Lighting Solutions, Indianapolis. However, at least six requests for bids were sent out, including three to local companies, causing Commissioners' President Charlie Brown to request additional time. "I've had a couple people express interest in the project, and I hope to receive some proposals from local companies," Brown said.
With the courthouse to be closed on July 5, the next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 6, in the Commissioners' Courtroom.