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Posted: August 9, 2012 8:31 p.m.

County employees receive insurance rebate

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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