County Commission hears plans to save money on health insurance

The Sequoyah Group gave the results of its initial health insurance investigation during Monday’s County Commission meeting, and the results were enough to bring the whole room into applause.

Representative Kelly Geer discussed possible savings they could achieve by modifying their current plan, which could result in savings of over $200,000.

“My grandfather was a county commissioner for seven years,” Geer said. “It means something to me to bring you good news.”

The Sequoyah Group brought forth several different options for health insurance, saying they “pitted them against each other” in order to get competitive pricing to show the commission.

Geer said there were several areas where the county could save money without detracting coverage for participants, including the deductible.

“This is why I said you guys are over-insured,” Geer said about the deductible. “139 members out of 350 have zero towards their deductible. But yet we are paying for a $500 deductible.”

Out of the members who were paying into the deductible, Geer said only about 6 percent actually met the deductible.

Among the options Geer presented were ways to improve on the county’s existing Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan and a plan with Cigna. While Blue Cross/Blue Shield presented a 10 percent decrease on their current contract and Cigna presented a 20 percent decrease, Geer said to not simply end the process here.

“We promised you all we would give you the data,” she said. “Take the small step in changing this.”

Commissioners were impressed with the initial results.

“Thank you for rolling back the curtain and showing us how the insurance sausage is made,” Commissioner Mike Hill said. “This is why we need to question everything, no matter how uncomfortable it may get. […] God bless you, ma’am, we just improved the living situation for 100 percent of the county’s employees.”

Later, during the Budget Committee’s presentation, Commissioner Ross Garland laid forth their original motion to continue working with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but the commission voted all in favor to amend the motion to go with the Sequoyah Group’s recommendation once they obtained more information, with Willie Campbell, Patty Woodby, Isaiah Grindstaff, Layla Ward and Aaron Frazier abstaining from the vote. Not in attendance for the vote were Bradley Johnson, Jerry Proffitt, Randall Jenkins and Ray Lyons.

Whichever the commission decides to go with will go into effect July 1, meaning the decision will come to another vote during the next commission meeting Monday, June 17.

Local news

Memorial Day ceremony honors Carter Countians killed in military conflicts

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested for second-degree murder in stabbing incident

Local news

Memorial Day weekend sees slight drop in Tennessee gas prices despite high travel volume

Local news

Northeast Community Credit Union selects 2024 William L. Armstrong Scholarship recipients

Local news

Elizabethton student receives prestigious Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship

Local news

RM resident graduates from Maryville College

Calendar

Community Calendar

Local news

Farmers Market opens June 4 with new items, old favorites

Local news

A Life Lived: Wayne Peters was  a humble man and kind person

Local news

AAA warns of increased risks for teen drivers during ‘100 Deadliest Days’

Local news

Boys & Girls Club announces winners of Annual Popcorn Fundraiser

Local news

Spring knap-in scheduled Saturday at Sycamore Shoals Park

Local news

ETSU meeting students where they are

Local news

UETHDA announces commodity distributions for June

Arrests

Johnson City Police arrest man on drug and DUI charges

BREAKING NEWS

Second arrest made in murder investigation after man’s remains found in buried freezer

Community

Fish and Chicken Feast June 1 at Boozy Creek

Local news

Hampton man still sought on murder, other charges in connection with body unearthed in freezer

Local news

Elizabethton dedicates first mural despite heavy downpour

Local news

Elizabethton Water Resources lifts boil water notice after line break 

Community

Senior Center Schedule

Community

Buster Barnett celebrates 89th birthday on June 3

Local news

Two former HVHS graduates complete prestigious state-wide leadership program

Community

Isaac Whitehead Family plans reunion June 1