6:26am

Wed September 12, 2012
Health and Welfare

New Health Insurance Options for City Workers

Thousands of Lexington city employees will be making decisions about their health insurance plans in the coming weeks.  The new plans and rate structure is expected to save the city and workers money.  Urban County Council members were briefed on insurance matters Tuesday.  Benji Marrs is Senior Vice President with Benefit Insurance Marketing.  “So, for next year, employees, we anticipate, 50 percent of them will have a lower payroll deduction that what they have today.  And for some employees, there’s 28 percent of the population participating on an H-S-A and for those non tobacco users, they will experience anyway from a rate reduction to a one or two dollar increase per pay period,” said Marrs.

Marrs says some insured without co-pays have taken advantage of the most expensive procedures or prescriptions with no attention given to cost.

“Employees have more upfront costs in the beginning of the plan.  They become aware of those costs and start to make purchasing decisions, which is very different from somebody who doesn’t have what we call ‘skin in the game’ or costs associated with their care,” added Marrs.

For the first time, Lexington city workers can take advantage of a non tobacco user health insurance benefit.  Marrs says it can mean a cut in monthly premiums..

“So for non tobacco users, we’re giving a credit for single employees and employees with children of 25 dollars a month.  And for employees with family or covering their spouses, we’re giving a credit of 50 dollars back per month for non tobacco use.  That’s significant money,” said Marrs.

Marrs says current smokers in government can sign up for a cessation program and become eligible for the credit.  Open enrollment for employees begins in a few weeks.