An increase in claims and requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act will drive up health insurance premiums 11.6 percent for Greene County employees, said county officials.
Commissioners learned of the impending increase, that will take effect in September, during a work session this week and voted on Thursday to authorize the county administrator to sign the new health insurance agreement.
The double-digit increase is the largest the county has seen within the last four years, according to documents obtained by the Dayton Daily News. In 2010, county health insurance rates increased by 9.7 percent. A year later, premiums dropped 2 percent.
“I don’t believe there’s any chance it will go down (next year),” said Howard Poston, the Greene County Administrator.
Officials attributed 4 percent of the increase to requirements of the Affordable Care Act, such as annual screenings without co-payments, providing select contraceptives without co-payments and covering dependants up to age 26.
Employees with a single health plan will go from paying $119.50 per month to $133.36. Those on a family plan will go from $319.17 per month to $356.19.
The county pays $480.70 for single and $1,283.44 for family plans per month. That amount will increase to $536.46 for single and $1,432 for family plans.
The county insures 813 employees — a slight decrease compared to the 823 employees insured in 2012.
In addition to changes to premium hikes, emergency room co-payment will double from $100 to $200 per visit. The out-of-pocket expense limit will increase from $500 for single to $1,000 for family plans to $1,000 and $2,000 respectively.
Emergency room visits this year increased 16 percent, said Lisa Hale, the Greene County Risk Management director. The increase also contributed to the increase in premium rates.
“There’s a large number of these visits that were inappropriate,” Hale said.