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Washington County commissioners award health insurance contracts

April 03, 2013

The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved several contracts for group health insurance for the coming year, electing to stick with several incumbent providers and switch to one new carrier for vision coverage.

Karen Luther, the county’s purchasing director, and consultant Rebecca Mowen Lewis of the firm CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services Inc. went before the five commissioners to present a proposal drafted by the coordinating committee, which unanimously agreed on the recommendations.

Approved providers are as follows:

  • CareFirst Administrators, in collaboration with Tristate Health Partners and InforMed Health Care Solutions, Hagerstown — medical/care management, wellness and stop-loss coverage
  • Express Scripts Inc., St. Louis, Mo. — prescription drug coverage
  • Delta Dental of Pennsylvania, Mechanicsburg, Pa. — dental coverage
  • United Healthcare Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. — vision coverage

For medical and prescription coverage, the county will see a 0.3 percent decrease in cost over the current plan, a difference of almost $30,000 for a total of $11.67 million.

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Dental coverage will drop by 10 percent with a move from a fully insured plan to a self-funded plan with Delta Dental, from the current cost of $515,972 to $463,151.

A lower bid was received for dental, but it came with disruption of service for 21 percent of county employees, which prompted the recommendation for renewing Delta, Lewis said.

Vision coverage was shifted to a new provider, United Healthcare, because of a 52-percent increase in the proposal from NVA, the current provider, Lewis said. United’s proposal only increased cost by 5 percent, to $117,974 from the current year’s $112,296.

A total of 19 carriers submitted proposals and each was evaluated based on numerous criteria, including performance history, costs and stability of network, Lewis said.

— C.J. Lovelace

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