There will be no increase in health insurance premiums for Anoka County and its employees, but depending on the plan chosen they could pay less.
The Anoka County Board, on the recommendation of its Benefits and Compensation Committee, approved contracts for health insurance, dental insurance, flexible spending accounts and the Well@Work onsite medical clinic.
The cost to the county and its employees will also remain the same in the dental plan, flexible spending accounts and Well@Work program.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBSMN) will be the county’s health care provider in calendar year 2013.
According to Melanie Ault, county human resources director, the county sent out requests for proposal to providers and BCBSMN was the only one to respond with no increase.
While Medica presented a good proposal that was close to BCBSMN’s, Health Partners, which has the county’s 2012 health insurance contract, proposed a 10 percent premium increase, Ault said.
In making the switch from HealthPartners to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the two existing health plans available to employees will be replicated, she said.
There is no premium increase in the Aware $20 copay plan, but there will be a 4 percent premium decrease in the Aware High Deductible plan with a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), Ault said.
And under the new BCBSMN contract, there will be a third plan offered – Regional High Deductible, which will also come with an HRA, according to Ault.
This plan, which will have lower premiums, comes with two tiers; tier one offering 96 percent of the providers found in the Aware High Deductible plan and the same deductibles ($2,000 for single and $4,000 for family), Ault said.
But while tier two will have better discounts it comes with bigger deductibles ($3,000 for single and $16,000 for family), she said.
Overall single and family coverage monthly premiums and county contributions under the three plans approved for 2013 are:
• Aware $20 Copay: premium is $679 single and $1,561 family; county contribution is $558.08 single, $1,142.78 family.
• Aware High Deductible: premium is $626.33 single and $1,406.07 family; county contribution is $573.56 single and $1,175.76 family.
• Regional High Deductible: premium is $601.33 single and $1,370.17 family; county contribution is $562.85 single and $1,202.23 family.
Right now, county employees are split 50-50 on use of the two plans offered under the HealthPartners contract, but with the new contract with BCBSMN and premium decrease with the Aware High Deductible plan that could change, Ault said
The health insurance plan covers 30-hour or more, benefit-eligible positions, both union and non-union employees, as does the dental insurance plan which will remain with HealthPartners with no premium increases and no plan design changes for 2013.
There will also be no increase in the county’s contribution toward single or family dental insurance.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield was approved to administer, through its Select Account subsidiary, the 2013 flexible spending accounts contract for medical and dependent care for all regular positions, both union and non-union employees, with no increase in cost.
HealthPartners will continue to operate the Well@Work onsite medical clinic at the Anoka County Government Center on the county’s health insurance plans for 2013, again with no increase in cost.
The clinic opened in 2011 and is well used, according to Ault.
“The clinic has 10 to 11 appointments a day and keeps busy,” Ault said.
County Commissioner Andy Westerberg abstained from the county board’s 6-0 vote to approve the plans.
That’s because the insurance agency he owns sells Blue Cross and Blue Shield products, although he will not benefit from the county board action, according to Westerberg.
Peter Bodley is at email@example.com