County saves $840k on retiree health insurance switch

2014-08-28T05:00:00Z 2014-08-28T19:35:05Z County saves $840k on retiree health insurance switchMARK SCHAAF mark.schaaf@journaltimes.com Journal Times

YORKVILLE — County officials say an insurance change for some retirees will be a win for both sides.

Retirees at least 65 years old and eligible for Medicare will be moved from the county’s self-funded plan to a private plan through Humana. The move is expected to save Racine County an estimated $840,000 during roughly the next year as it will no longer pay claims filed by those retirees.

Humana is also able to provide coverage to Medicare-eligible retirees at a cheaper rate than the county, officials said, which will result in lower premiums for the retirees. Retirees keep the same coverage they had under the county’s plan.

The Racine County Board unanimously approved the change in its meeting Tuesday.

“It’s really a win-win,” County Executive Jim Ladwig said.

The move affects between 500 and 600 former county workers, Human Resources Director Karen Galbraith said.

The plan will be put in place from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015. While the typical insurance period is one year, Humana and the county both found it easier to implement the plan two months earlier, Ladwig said.

The county annually evaluates all of its insurance plans for employees and retirees and will do the same for this plan next year to see how it’s working, he said.

Officials did not consider the same change for other employees or retirees because it would not realize the same savings, Ladwig said. That’s because Humana gets money from the federal Medicare program to help provide coverage for those eligible for Medicare, Galbraith said.

Ladwig noted the county is contractually obligated to continue providing health insurance to those workers after retirement.

“We’re fulfilling the obligation that we have,” he said.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. tuco
    Report Abuse
    tuco - August 30, 2014 12:25 pm
    Sounds to me like smart fiscal management by Jim Ladwig!
  2. UTP
    Report Abuse
    UTP - August 29, 2014 3:44 pm
    Something smells fishy to me.
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