BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - It's going to cost Brunswick County employees more for health insurance starting July 1 and spouse coverage will be eliminated altogether.
County commissioners approved a set of cost increases to its Employee Health Plan Benefits Plan at its meeting on Monday night.
The Board of Commissioners have received information over the past few months regarding the increasing costs of the county's employee health plan.
County administration has received input from department heads and employees on how the various proposed health insurance options would impact employees and their families.
After reviewing all this information, and the county's fiscal year 2014-2015 projected revenues and departmental budget requests, commissioners decided to retain the current plan but increase primary doctor visits from $20 to $30 and specialist visits from $40-$50 and to implement the following premiums:
The additional premium costs to be passed on to employees totals $815,640 per year.
In order to assist the plan with sustainability, county commissioners also closed the plan to the addition of any employee spouses as of July 1, 2014.
Spouses insured as of June 30, 2014 will remain eligible to participate in the plan but no new spouses will be eligible for Heath insurance benefits.
If a currently insured spouse leaves the plan for any reason, they will not be eligible for the plan in the future.
The total projected county funded impact for all funds is $1,584,336 annually, of which, $1,397,071 is the general fund budget impact.
Commission Chair, Phil Norris said it's unfortunate that any changes had to be made but it was a necessity based on the county's budget.
"We know it's going to be difficult for some of our employees but it's going to be difficult for everyone," said Norris. "The cost of everything is going up and it's just part of reality."
Commissioners approved the new plan unanimously, but county staff anticipates that the plan will need future modifications to the employee premiums, deductibles, and co-payments to be sustainable.
The county's broker has recently requested bids for the stop loss insurance and will be exploring additional ways to reduce costs in 2014-2015.
Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard