County employees get new health plans

Posted 8/25/20

Madison County employees will move to a new, cheaper, healthcare plan after county commissioners approved the switch at Monday’s regular meeting.

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County employees get new health plans

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Madison County employees will move to a new, cheaper, healthcare plan after county commissioners approved the switch at Monday’s regular meeting.

According to Daniel Anderson, vice president of ANCO Insurance, the Blue Cross Blue Shield plan will lower the cost of insurance for the county to $642,656.28 per year. According to the bids from various insurers collected by Anderson for the county, the current year’s plan with United Health Care cost $660,880.68 and the company wanted $765,822.12 for a year renewal.

“It’s a little richer in benefits than (the plan) you have now,” Anderson told commissioners in a presentation of his findings. Anderson said the decrease in cost for health care is the second consecutive for the county.

“Nobody’s seeing a decrease in costs, and certainly not two years in a row,” he told commissioners.

The new plan under Blue Cross Blue Shield will limit out-of-pocket expenses for employees to $1,800, compared with the prior plan’s $2,200 out-of-pocket cap. Employees under the plan will be responsible for the first $1,000 in costs, then the insurance company gives an 80-20 split until the $1,800 cap.

In other measures Monday, commissioners approved a $16,367 project to repair water damage at the Madison County Library.

According to County Judge Tony Leago, water leaks at the facility have caused rotting wood on columns, door jambs and other areas.

“They had some metal siding on there that was just attached to plywood,” Leago said. “The siding was coming off, exposing everything to water.”

Commissioners also approved giving Crockett Construction Corp. a construction project improving drainage in precincts three and four. The $2 million project will be funded through a community development block grant under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s disaster recovery program.

According to a report from Madison County Emergency Management Coordinator Shelly Butts at Monday’s meeting, the spread of COVID-19 in the county slowed dramatically in the past week, with only four to six new cases reported. The county sill has 72 active cases of the novel coronavirus, she said.

The county has still not received death certificates for the three deaths reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services to be related to COVID-19. Until the death certificates are issued and received, there is no confirmation that the fatalities were related to the virus.

The DSHS online dashboard reported 113 active cases of the novel coronavirus in the county as of Monday evening, though official numbers received by the county usually vary from the online reports.

“There’s always a lapse between what the state has and what the region has,” Butts said.

Across Texas, DSHS reported 111,807 active cases of the virus, and totals 11,395 fatalities due to the disease thus far.

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