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Fayette County employees to pay more in medical costs

Fayette County employees will retain the same medical insurance premiums for the coming year, but they will end up paying more out of pocket for services under a new plan approved by the county commission last month.

The county is transitioning away from a 100 percent payment for hospitalization, knocking that figure down to 90 percent. That means that employees will have to pay 10 percent of the discounted medical bill going forward, officials explained to the Fayette County Commission Feb. 23.

“It will encourage our employees to become more consumer-oriented decision-makers with respect to their healthcare purchases,” said County Administrator Jack Krakeel.

The new plan features a $500 calendar year deductible and a separate $500 requirement for out of pocket expenses before the plan’s payments go into effect at the 90 percent rate, officials said.

The county’s dental plan will have no proposed changes.

The medical plan is being shifted to Humana, which will serve as an administrator for the county’s self-funded insurance plan. Also, the switch in networks can be made with no change to the doctors currently being used by county employees, officials have said.

Humana has provided a two-year price guarantee, county officials said. Humana underbid the current provider, Meritain, by $592,000.

The county had some $6.5 million in claims and paid $1.013 million in administrative fees from June 1, 2010 through May 31, 2011. This year claims are projected to rise to $7.28 million with the administrative fees ending at $1.09 million.

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