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Health care rates to rise in Jefferson County

Updated: Thursday, October 17 2013, 07:01 PM EDT

By Rich Pierce 

Jefferson County, OH 

October 17, 2013 

Health care rates will increase by 9 percent for Jefferson County employees in 2014. County commissioners are trying to come up with a plan that takes some of the burden of the increase off of employees.

Health care costs rise a little every year, but in the last decade or so, it has been rare that rates have had to increase for the county. Now, commissioners must deal with inflation and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“How much are we going to shift that to the employee and how much of it will be on the employer? If you put more on the employer, that’s more out of the department budget that has to go to health insurance, which means possibly someone could lose their job due to the cost of health insurance,” Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas Graham said.

An added wrinkle into health care costs this year is the implementation of the Affordable care Act.

“Some of it has to do with changes in health care. There’s no cap of a million dollars – that’s been eliminated. Covering people up until the age of 26 puts more people on the plan. Those are all increased costs. Plus, you have medical inflation,” Graham said.

Graham and a committee of department heads, business leaders and union leaders have been meeting monthly to try and divide the cost as efficiently as possible. Right now, the county spends $1,100 per month for each employee.

“There’s no ideal situation when it comes to raising rates. Either the taxpayers in terms of departments will pay more or the employee will pay more. It’s not a happy situation either way,” Graham said.

No plan has been finalized. 

Health care rates to rise in Jefferson County

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