County committee reviews insurance brokers

Published 9:22 am Thursday, March 5, 2015

Members of the Carter County Financial Management committee are reviewing insurance brokers to make sure the county is getting the best price when it contracts for insurance for the county employees.

Last month the committee voted to send out a Request for Proposals to insurance brokers, and during Wednesday’s meeting, Carter County Finance Director Ingrid Deloach told the group nine companies had responded by submitting proposals.

Connie Tate of Triton Insurance in Blountville is the county’s current insurance broker for employee medical and vision coverage. Another broker handles the county’s other insurance needs such as elective life insurance and dental coverage.

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“(Tate) has been our provider for several years,” Deloach said. “I have no complaints or issues with Triton Insurance.”

While there have been no issues with the current service provider, it has been some time since the county requested proposals for the service Deloach said. To help ensure the county is getting the best rates and the best service, Deloach said she felt the request for proposals was a good idea.

“There were some concerns from the Sheriff’s Office over insurance costs,” Deloach said. “They are concerned that if you get dependent coverage, it takes pretty much your whole paycheck, and it does.”

Some employees who spoke with Deloach thought a new broker might be able to get a better rate for the county and for the employees, she said.

“This does not change our insurance for our employees; this would just possibly change our broker,” Deloach said, adding she had heard concerns from employees that their insurance company would change.

The proposals submitted by the companies were extensive, Deloach said.

During the meeting she provided committee members with a brief summary of each proposal for them to review.

“It’s a lot of information to process and take in all at once,” committee Chairman Ray Lyons said.

Lyons added that he felt it would be “prudent” for the committee to take its time in researching the information in order to reach the best decision.

Lyons asked when a decision on the proposals needed to be made and Deloach responded that the latest would be the committee’s April meeting in order to keep the process running smoothly for the county during budget time and also in fairness to the current provider should the county choose to go with another vendor.

Because the proposals are in-depth, Lyons suggested the committee hold a workshop session and allow the insurance brokers to come in and explain their proposal to the committee, which would also allow the members to ask questions. The committee agreed it would be a good idea and voted to set up the workshop for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

During the commissioner comments portion of the meeting, Commissioner Danny Ward addressed the committee over an issue he said had caused him concern.

“We do need to live in the future, not the past,” Ward said. “The election is over and it needs to be that way.”

Recently, Ward said, he had seen and heard of discord among members of the Carter County government.

“Threats and violence have no place here,” Ward said. “I think we all need to get along and work together.”

While Ward said he had not been threatened personally, he said he had knowledge of it happening to someone else, but did not want to discuss anything further during the meeting.

“We need to be professionals,” Ward said. “The community is watching everything we do, and not just this community but other communities as well.”

“In order to make this commission successful, including the departments and the schools, we need to work together as a team,” he added.