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Committee approves insurance changes

The Pierce County Finance and Personnel Committee held a marathon meeting Monday lasting over nearly two-and-a-half hours.

Among the many topics the committee wrestled with was making changes to the health insurance plan for 2015.

Administrative Coordinator JoAnn Miller said, after a meeting with advisors, the county recommended making the following changes for 2015: increase the annual deductible to $1,000/$2,000, out of pocket maximums to $3,000/$6,000 and decreasing prescription costs.

The bigger changes were introducing a spousal waiver, which requires a spouse to be covered by the spouse’s employer if they have that option; and shifting to a three-tier premium program of single, employee plus children and employee, plus spouse or family. In 2014, all employees pay a 10 percent premium, but the three tiers would be broken down to 10, 15 and 18 percent, respectively. However, employees can stay at 10 percent if they undergo an annual health risk assessment and pledge no tobacco.

“Basically, we are rewarding people for healthy choices,” Miller said. The changes were made to avoid the county paying a Cadillac tax in 2018.

All those changes were approved despite not knowing what the rates will be. Those will be announced during next month’s meeting.

For more please read the June 11 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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