The county has opted to remain with its current insurance provider Mississippi Public Entity Employee Benefit Trust (MPEEBT) and part ways with the current reinsurance carrier for its employees per the recommendation of Bill Sing — the county’s insurance administrator.
The decision was made Monday by the Washington County Board of Supervisors during their regular meeting.
Sing appeared before the BOS to give an update on the health benefit program and informed them that net claims for this fiscal year, which began in October 2019 and ends on Sept. 30, 2020, total $3,000,050.
“We’re going to be somewhere in that general area or probably a little bit higher,” he projected for the upcoming fiscal year.
Noting that while the county has chosen to keep the current rate structure for its health benefit program, Sing said there was an individual whose reinsurance benefits this year will amount to $300,000.
“Last year, his reinsurance benefits were $225,000 ... he’s going to be at $700,00-plus. So what the reinsurance does is instead of giving you a gigantic rate increase, they put a higher rate on one individual,” he explained. “So this is the only individual who next year will have a higher rate, and there is a chance he won’t even come close to $300,000.”
Regarding the change of reinsurance carrier, Sing said, “The current reinsurance carrier was, depending on which option I chose, going up between 20% and 25% and I just didn’t feel like that was a good option.”
The new reinsurance carrier has agreed to keep the current premium rates.
“The only thing that I think is an increase is we have an aggregate limit based on the claims that are incurred and paid during a 12 month period. The limit is going to be 3.4 plus million next year,” Sing shared. “We pay a premium of $5.61 per employee per year, so we’re paying $18,000 or $20,000 to protect you from having claims in a 12 month period of $3.4 million.”
Sing does not anticipate such will happen at this point, but he is of the feeling they are coming close to cancelling that particular coverage.
Sing said after talking with the cafeteria plan administrator who handles dental and vision coverage, the cost is somewhere around $100,000 and $125,000 to provide dental and vision for all of the county’s employees.
“The cost is actually 5% lower than the rates they are paying now voluntarily,” Sing told the BOS, but if county employees opted to cover themselves, they would have to pay the difference.
With the budget already being set and accepted for the upcoming fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, it seems unlikely for the BOS to incorporate that aspect into employee coverages before then.
Sing said Jan. 1 is a great time for the BOS to consider adding that aspect because that is when the employees’ deductibles start over again.