County adopts revised insurance program
April 16, 2012 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated April 15, 2012 at 11:16 p.m.
Victoria County Commissioners approved a $3.5 million county employee health insurance program.
Insurance funding increased by about $12,000 to $3,563,000 over the previous fiscal year's $3,551,000 budget.
County Administration Director Joyce Dean said the county has been able to maintain the same rate, without changing premiums, for several years.
The new plan includes the revisions called for by health care reform, she said.
County Judge Don Pozzi said during Monday's commissioners court meeting that the insurance plan had been thoroughly "reviewed and checked, reviewed and checked."
Effective in March, the new federal health program is required to collect and report racial, ethic and language data which will be used to understand and reduce persistent health disparities, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, insurers must accept everyone who applies for coverage when they apply during a defined enrollment period.
Insurers cannot deny coverage because of a person's health status, medical condition, claims experience, medication history, genetic information or disability. However, they can base premiums on age, tobacco use, geographic area and whether coverage is for an individual or a family.
Dean said for the 458 county employees who opt in for the insurance program, tobacco use or body mass index - restrictions several Victoria employers have adopted - are not on the table for the county.