Morgan County officials struggling to cover rising medical costs

Morgan County officials struggling to cover rising medical costs

MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Morgan County officials are looking for ways to cut medical expenses after a sharp increase in employee health-care spending this year.

"We've had a string of really good years, but this year has been really bad for us," said County Commission Chairman Ray Long, of the county's self-insured medical plan.

Long said the county typically gets from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, which administers the county's self-funded plan, a rebate of about $1 million from the money it pays the company in advance to cover employee health-care costs.

As fiscal 2017 draws to a close though, he said the county is on track to get a rebate of just $120,000, representing an unexpected increase in health-care spending of about $880,000 for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

The commission budgeted what was thought to be a conservative $240,000 rebate. Long said he won't recommend the commission budget any rebate for fiscal 2018, which starts Oct. 1.

County Commissioner Randy Vest attributed the increased spending to an increase in health-care costs generally, as well as increased use of health-care services by the 353 employees with insurance and their covered dependents.

Read more at Decatur Daily.

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