County shifts more costs to employees
Taylor County will look at a combination of plan changes and shifting expenses to employees in order to keep the increase in employee health insurance costs in-line with the proposed budget.
County finance director Larry Brandl had built a 5 %increase in the projected 2020 budget. However Tim Deaton, vice president of the Horton Group told members of a joint finance and personnel committee last week that the increase would be 8%.
Insurance premium increases are driven primarily by loss ratio. The loss ratio is the percentage of premiums that goes directly to pay for healthcare expenses. In 2018, the county had an average loss ratio of 90.93%, which was driven by 243.21% loss ratio in the broad network pool of employees and only 46.36% usage among the Aspirus narrow-network option. Things are different in 2019. The year to date loss ratio is currently at 103% overall and while the broad network dropped to 191.66%, the Aspirus Network pool jumped to an 82.84% loss ratio.
What this means for the county is that their options are limited with the 8% proposed renewal rate offered by the Wisconsin Counties Association Group Health Trust being the most affordable option available.
See this week's issue of The Star News for the complete story.