Dental, vision coverage added to county plan
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:00 AM
Employees on the county's health insurance policy will have free dental and vision coverage starting in October after the Board of Supervisors voted to change carriers on Monday.
Supervisors switched from Blue Cross Blue Shield to United Healthcare at a projected savings of just under $4,000 for fiscal 2014.
Blue Cross had projected up to an $80,000 hike in health insurance premiums for the new year.
The county provides healthcare coverage to 95 employees who will be eligible for the dental and vision coverage at no extra cost, supervisor said on Monday.
Under the new plan, the county will pay $381,683.40 for employee health insurance. Those employees will continue to pay the same amount for their share of the insurance coverage as in previous years.
Stan Neese of United Healthcare told the board that his company would honor all deductibles that employees have met so far this year.
United Healthcare's network includes all hospitals in the state and about 99 percent of the doctors, Neese said.
He told supervisors that if an employee didn't receive more than $1,500 in healthcare services during a coverage year, he or she would not have "any out of pocket" charges.
The United Healthcare plan has a 100 percent wellness benefit for employees. One plus of the new plan, supervisors said, was that a $20 co-pay for doctor visits also extends to the urgent care clinic in Philadelphia.
County Administrator Benjie Coats told supervisors that the new plan would bring a potential savings to a healthy individual who goes to a doctor only three or four times a year.
"Younger folks are probably going to come out better than the older folks and those not as healthy," he said. "It is aimed toward wellness and the use of urgent care instead of the ER."
The new coverage will go into effect on Oct. 1.