Marion County Board wrestles with skyrocketing health insurance - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Marion County Board wrestles with skyrocketing health insurance costs

 

With employee health insurance rates skyrocketing, the Marion County Board of Supervisors are wresting with ways to reduce costs for county health benefits.

Board of Supervisors President Calvin Newsom says, "We're in some tough economical times and it calls for some tough decisions" Newsom says increased operating costs and lower tax revenues are forcing the county to make hard cuts. "And looking at ways to cut included our health insurance as well."

Newsom says employee health insurance rates have skyrocketed, "We've had increase over the last two years that will equal over 54%."

The Marion County board is wrestling with several ideas, some including employees footing some of the bill. "Yesterday we received 4 proposals and on today we received 1 proposal from different insurance companies, putting a little bit of the cost onto our employees, but we're trying to avoid that in anyway."

Newsom says time is running out and they'll have to decide next week. Their current health insurance plan expires in May, and a new insurance carrier will need time to enroll Marion County employees. "The next step is to study these proposals. Each of us have a copy that we are studying. Then we will come back together and reach a conclusion."

Newsom says the board knows these are difficult times for county employees and they're trying to make the decision with the least negative impact to county workers. "Our hopes are that we will be able to put some money back in the county coffers. I hopes are also that our employees will also still be able to go to the doctor, will still be able to remain healthy."

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