Archive for Monday, May 18, 2009

County to try to hold line on health premiums

Employees not getting raises, but insurance costs jump $500,000

May 18, 2009


With Douglas County employees unlikely to receive pay increases this year, the county’s health insurance committee is asking commissioners to keep employee premiums flat for next year.

To do this, commissioners would have to find $500,000 to cover increased insurance costs.

“Due to the fact that we won’t receive a pay increase this year, that’s our justification for asking them not to raise the cost on us,” said health insurance committee member Kim Burns, a Douglas County senior personal property appraiser.

County leaders say they do consider it a morale issue for the 400 employees but the decision could be tough, considering this year’s budget conditions. Commissioners are dealing with declining revenues, mostly because of declining property values.

For 2009-2010, the county expects an increase in health insurance costs of 9 percent, Assistant County Administrator Pam Madl said.

Commissioner Jim Flory said it would be important to consider keeping employee premiums flat, especially with merit raises currently frozen. The key will be where to find the funds, he said.

“I’m certainly going to look at the numbers and ask the questions,” Flory said.

County Administrator Craig Weinaug said he was still putting together budget recommendations for commissioners to review, but he was preparing a scenario to absorb the $500,000 to keep the premiums flat. One possible area of savings could come in the capital outlay budget because road project costs have dropped significantly during the economic recession, Weinaug said.

County commissioners will consider renewing the health insurance plan during their 8:10 a.m. meeting today at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago

This would save governments and taxpayers a ton of money :

All taxpayers need coverage, taxpayers need relief and big time reduction in cost.

HR 676 is the only equitable approach that includes all of us.

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, and long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

Health care costs and facts: ==============

Richard Heckler 8 years, 10 months ago


Tens of millions Americans lack access to healthcare! Over 20,000 people die each year due to lack of health insurance! Private health insurance industry denies coverage and gleans profits! The time has come to reform our health care system! Support HR 676 and other Single Payer Legislation in Congress! Support President Obama’s Public Plan Option to cover everyone! Join your fellow citizens for an afternoon of demonstration! Send a message to the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius,
Chairwoman of the Department of Health and Human Services!

SPEAKERS Dr. Bill Roy Former U.S. Congressman, 2nd District
Dr. Joshua Freeman Chairman, KUMC Dept of Family Practice
Julie Pierce Healthcare reform advocate Dr. David Goering Medical Director, Health Care Access Clinic

SPONSORS: Kansas Health Care For All, Heartland Healthcare For All, Sunflower Community Action, Kansas Action Network, League of Women Voters, Kansas AFL-CIO, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, Health Care Access Clinic,
Marian Clinic, Physicians for a National Health Program, and Healthcare-NOW!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: GO TO WWW.KHCFA.ORG Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

skinny 8 years, 10 months ago

toe, What does City employees have to do with this article?

I believe the heading in this article said “County”, not City.

Do you know the difference?

skinny 8 years, 10 months ago

You guys need to go get a college degree and a job. 80% of the jobs out there have healthcare benefits! If the job you have doesn’t have healthcare benefits switch jobs. It’s pretty simple!

It's not your neighbors fault you chose the path you followed. There for you should not expect them to pay or help pay your health insurance premiums.

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Dr. Adrian Rogers

redfred 8 years, 10 months ago

Again the commision is talking about balancing the county budget on the backs of the employees.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 10 months ago

Not that I read any of Merrill's annoying cut-and-paste entries, but we all know what he wants. He desires that taxpayers forfeit billions in personal wealth to a government healthcare monopoly. This scheme is bad news for America. It would remove choice, increase costs, reduce innovations, result in waiting lines for many procedures, and contribute to unhealthy lifestyles (after all, why reduce your caloric intake, stop smoking, drink less, or exercise more when you can count on cradle-to-grave government healthcare?)

And what many people fail to realize is this: the more you and I rely on government and government bureaucrats to satisfy our needs, the more dependent on that government we become. We're rapidly evolving into pathetic pawns of the State who's future is predicated on the benevolence of someone or some thing in Washington, DC.

Say no. Say it loudly.

InsuranceTeaseDOTcom 8 years, 10 months ago

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