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Kane to pay more for employee insurance

Published: Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – The amount Kane County will pay next year for its employees’ health insurance will increase.

But it will not go up as much as it otherwise could have, consultants told a Kane County Board committee.

On Wednesday, consultants from Libertyville-based Global Group told the Kane County Board’s Human Services Committee that the county government should expect to pay about 2.5 percent, or about $372,000, more in 2012 for health insurance than it did this year.

The consultants said the results were “better than expected,” as other employers are experiencing annual premium increases of 8-11 percent next year.

Kane County insures its workers and participating dependents through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

All told, the county insured 1,166 last year in three different plans, a PPO and two HMOs, according to the consultants’ report.

The county pays 85 percent of its employees’ health premiums, while employees pay the remaining 15 percent.

Although the county’s costs will increase, the amount paid per employee will remain essentially unchanged. 

However, employees in the county’s PPO plan will face 66 percent increases in deductibles and copays and costs for emergency services will increase for those in PPO and HMO plans.

Following the meeting, Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said the presented cost increases were in line with county budget expectations, as the county’s most recent budget proposal anticipates a general cost increase of about 2.5 percent for most items.

However, the county’s final health insurance costs will depend on the results of the county’s ongoing negotiations with the unions representing nine groups of employees in six county offices and departments.

“The preliminary numbers seem to line up with what we budgeted,” McConnaughay said. “But any changes in the health plan will have to have the concurrence of our bargaining units.”

McConnaughay said those negotiations remain unresolved. 

But she said she expected to present collective bargaining agreements, as well as the health insurance renewal package, to the full Kane County Board at its next meeting on Tuesday.

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