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Commissioners court studies health insurance plan

By DAVID TEWES
Aug. 4, 2010 at 3:04 a.m.


Insurance issuesThe county's self-funded health insurance plan is $400,000 in the red this fiscal year.

It could be $500,000 to $600,000 in the red by the end of the year.

The health insurance plan for the county of Victoria employees appears to be in critical condition.

It's $400,000 in the red this fiscal year, which began Jan. 1. It could be $500,000 to $600,000 in the red by the end of the year.

"We've had some very high dollar claims," said Joyce Dean, the county's director of Administrative Services. "We've had some serious medical conditions."

That left the commissioners court scrambling Wednesday to decide the best way to keep the plan solvent.

County Judge Don Pozzi said the taxpayers have picked up the difference in the past.

"But we can't afford to be $500,000 or $600,000 in the hole in 2011," he said.

"Over the last few years, the county has been through a lot of plan design changes and we've implemented a free employee clinic," Dean said.

The county raised the employee portion of the health care premium last year, as well as the county's share.

"Unfortunately, those revenues have not generated enough for the health insurance to support itself," she said. "So the court again is looking at various options to decrease expenses or generate revenue for the health insurance fund."

Options may include an increased deductible, an office visit co-pay or a restructuring of prescription benefits, Dean said

"So there are a lot of options they are looking at right now, hoping to reduce the expenses or increase the revenues."

But Pozzi said nothing has been decided yet and won't be until after the court meets with the insurance consultant.

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