County em­ploy­ees re­ceive in­sur­ance re­bate

The Covington News - - Front page - DANIELLE EVER­SON deverson@cov­

A re­bate the county re­ceived from health­care provider Cigna will re­duce em­ploy­ees’ in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums and may pos­si­bly re­sult in a few ex­tra days off.

Cigna gave the county a re­bate in the amount of $138,195. Of those funds, the county will have to pay its em­ploy­ees 2.5 per­cent of the in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums they paid.

Em­ploy­ees will re­ceive a re­bate in the amount of $14.10 for sin­gle cov­er­age plans and $23.47 for fam­ily cov­er­age plans. The one-time re­bate will be ap­plied to em­ployee health­care pre­mi­ums on their Aug. 30 pay date.

The to­tal cost of re­bates for the county’s em­ploy­ees is $12,014.16, which re­duces the em­ployer re­bate to $126,181. County Man­ager John Mid­dle­ton told county com­mis­sion­ers the re­main­der of the money would be ap­plied to the Septem­ber 2012 Health Care In­sur­ance Pre­mium for the county.

Mid­dle­ton said the re­duced obli­ga­tion to the gen­eral fund would be set aside pend­ing the De­cem­ber fi­nan­cial re­view by the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers. He said it could re­sult in fund­ing two ad­di­tional paid county hol­i­days as de­ter­mined by ap­pro­pri­ate fi­nan­cial in­di­ca­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter to the county from Cigna, the Med­i­cal Loss Ra­tio pro­vi­sion in the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Health­care Act re­quires health in­sur­ance com­pa­nies and HMO’s to spend a cer­tain per­cent of pre­mi­ums on med­i­cal care.

The min­i­mum per­cent­age is 85 per­cent for large groups and 80 per­cent for small groups. In­sur­ance com­pa­nies whose MLR for 2011 did not meet the min­i­mum per­cent­age would have to is­sue a re­bate. Since the county’s MLR was 85 per­cent and they only used 82.5 per­cent, Cigna was re­quired to give the county a 2.5 per­cent re­bate.

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