ANDERSON — By changing insurance companies for employee health care, Madison County will save $2.8 million next year.
John Gause, president of Apex Benefits, explained Tuesday during the Madison County Commissioners’ meeting that by switching from Anthem to PHCS, the county’s total cost for employee health insurance will be reduced from $12.1 million to $9.3 million.
Madison County is self-insured, so it’s responsible for a portion of health care costs, and then the health insurance policy kicks in to cover the remaining costs.
During discussions about the 2023 county budget, Madison County was informed it had to increase the budget in the general fund by $2 million to a total of $6 million.
Gause said Anthem wanted a 29% increase in insurance costs if the county renewed the policy.
“We’re moving to another provider,” he said. “There will be no increase in costs and no changes in the employee deductibles and benefits.”
Apex was hired by the county in September 2021 as the third-party claim adjuster.
Gause said a review of the claims showed the county was owed $957,718 as a result of claims related to COVID-19.
He said Apex was also to lower the amount owed by the county for one employee’s health care costs from $1 million to $750,000.
Gause said a problem the county faced was no increase in the budget for health insurance costs for several years.
For next year, the County Council budgeted $5.4 million for health care insurance in the general fund budget.
“This is a significant amount of savings,” said Commissioner John Richwine.
Beatrice Ramey, director of the Human Resources Department, encouraged employees to use the county’s health clinic.
“It’s vital to keep using the clinic,” she said. “It helps keep costs down.”
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.