Due to a surge in the number of self-funded claims, Hancock County is projecting a substantial increase of nearly $132,000 in health insurance premiums beginning in July. The Hancock County Board of Supervisors met Monday with department heads to discuss the estimated 10.4 percent increase and how to budget for it, after the compensation board recently recommended a 4.5 percent salary increase for elected officials. According to Supervisors Jerry Tlach, Gary Rayhons and Sis Greiman, there is no foreseeable way of budgeting for both.
The projected 10.4 percent increase accumulates to about $2,000 more per employee on a family plan or nearly a dollar per hour. Decreasing the salary bump from 4.5 down to 3.5 percent would have saved the county approximately $19,000, but Hancock County Attorney Blake Norman suggested a compromise – raising employee health insurance contributions instead of lowering the projected salary increase.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the second option, which Tlach says would equate to about half of the health insurance rate increase paid for by the employees and half by county taxpayers.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors will re-examine budgets next week to determine whether or not the 4.5 percent salary increase is feasible.