Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Douglas County employees may have to pay an increased share of health care costs

April 17, 2012


The health insurance coverage that Douglas County offers its employees — the single biggest driver in the county’s budget — will be more on par with what private sector employers offer.

Starting in June, Douglas County employees will have to pay more in monthly premiums, co-payments for visits to the doctor’s office and emergency room and the maximum amount of money they have to spend each year on medical bills.

The increases will bring the county more in line with what other businesses are offering their employees, assistant county administrator Sarah Plinsky said. While the cost of health care plans everywhere have passed more responsibility onto employees recently, Douglas County has been reluctant to make changes to its plans because it was already reducing pay raises.

“They didn’t want to make a whole lot of changes to the plan design because they were cutting back on other benefits to employees,” Plinsky said. “They were looking at a total package of compensation.”

This year the county, which is self-insured, was facing a estimated 6.9-percent increase from the $7.4 million health care costs estimated for the 2011-12 fiscal year. To avoid the nearly $500,000 increase, major changes were proposed.

“It left us a little behind on our approaches on cost sharing,” Plinsky said of the county’s past health care plan.

Starting in June, doctor visit co-payments go from $15 to $25, emergency room co payments jump from $50 to $200 and the maximum out of pocket amount an individual will pay for health care increased from $1,300 to $1,800. For a family the amount jumped from $2,600 to $3,600.

One part of the plan that was left unchanged was that employees wouldn’t have to reach a deductible before health insurance coverage kicks-in.

“We discussed it and I hope we may put something like that in for future years as a way to incentivize employees to participate in employee wellness initiatives,” Plinsky said.

Adjustments made to the health care plan will help reduce the $2.4 million budget short fall that county believes it will face in the next fiscal year.


irvan moore 5 years, 11 months ago

so did you ask how much more the employees will pay in monthly premiums?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 11 months ago, Merrill, Tushi and Bozo will do just fine with out me.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 11 months ago

Still sounds better then the USD 497's plan.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Healthcare Reform Report Card

Let's Compare: Single-Payer (HR 676 and S 703) Expanded Medicare for All Vs. Proposed Healthcare

“Private insurance with Public Option” Physicians for a National Health Program

Repubs have nothing better to offer

parrothead8 5 years, 11 months ago

You don't sound like you know very much about government. Perhaps you should refrain from commenting about it until you've learned more.

Alceste 5 years, 11 months ago

Help Alceste to understand why the $100,000.00+ paid "administrator", Craig Weinaug, has NEVER seen fit to put county workers in the same pool as state workers.....something which is very easily doable and most cost effective?

Why should Douglas county workers have superior....and Alceste does mean SUPERIOR.........benefits to that of state of Kansas workers? Makes no sense whatsoever. None whatsoever.

Try calling the "county" for something: 8 times out of 10 (if not more) you'll get a voice mail telling you to leave a message.....what do those people do all day? These people don't understand just how good they've got it....particularly when compared to a state of Kansas worker. These county workers get pay raise after pay raise whilst state of Kansas employees get diddly boo. Oh well....Alceste can see a call for an increase in property taxes already.....

oldvet 5 years, 11 months ago

Maybe a former Marine... Drill Instructors did bad things to you if you said "I", "you" or "him/her/them".

Tradways 5 years, 11 months ago

The county can afford to support the homeless shelter, which is nothing but a financial sucking hole in this community. Most county employees have had no raises, have no chance for overtime or bonuses, but they deserve to be crapped on.

Alceste 5 years, 11 months ago


The county workers benefit package and "merit raises" should fully mirror what state workers are getting. If that means the shaft, so be it. Why should state workers be the only recipients of fecal matter?

County workers been getting pay raises straight along and why on earth should they be "given" overtime? Incredible.

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

Welcome to how those of us not working for the govt are treated. My monthly premiums are going up about $100/ month starting in May and I now have co pays because so many people had to pop out kids last year and drove up the costs of insurance at my work. Poor thing, upset because we help the homeless. I'd rather my premiums went up because I was helping to give homeless people some care instead of paying and extra $1200/year because others just had to have more babies and add to their litters.

I'm salary, get no overtime and raises don't happen very often.

Welcome to the real world DG County workers.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

I always love a good "My life sucks, so everyone else should eat crap sandwiches, too" post. I don't work for the county, but I don't begrudge them or anyone else affordable health care.

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