Moffat County commissioners to change insurance provider | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County commissioners to change insurance provider

Local manufacturers join Moffat County commissioners on Tuesday for a proclamation of Oct. 30 as Manufacturing Day in Moffat County.

CRAIG — The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, Oct. 30, voted unanimously to change the county's stop loss health insurance provider from UMR/Berkshire, the current carrier, to Anthem.

Under the change, Anthem, a new offering in Moffat County, will also become the third-party administrator and handle prescription drug coverage for the county.

Commissioners Ray Beck and Don Cook both voted in favor of the change; Commissioner Frank Moe was absent.

Before the vote, Lynnette Siedschlaw, director of the Human Resources Department, explained the county is "partially self-insured," covering 100-percent of claims up to $85,000 and utilizing the services of a stop loss provider to cover amounts exceeding that threshold.

After UMR/Berkshire's bid for 2019 "came in quite a bit higher," Siedschlaw said, the Employee Health Insurance Board met to explore other options. After receiving and reviewing quotes from Symetra and Anthem, board members recommended contracting with Anthem.

"You're going to see a projected savings of almost $224,000," Siedschlaw said, though she cautioned that number assumes the same level of claims seen in 2018.

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"So, that savings isn't an automatic savings," she said. "That is if our claims were to continue into the next year exactly as they are right now, so it's based on the past 12 months."

County Finance Director Mindy Curtis, who also sits on the Employee Health Insurance Board, added that the board considered all facets of the issue before making its recommendation.

"I think, as a Health Board member, you kind of look at everything you have," she said. "It's not just benefiting the employees and what's best for their interests, but there's a cost savings involved, and when we can find a similar coverage to what we have now … with this kind of savings, that was the reason we went down this road."

Commissioners also unanimously approved resolutions proclaiming Oct. 30 Manufacturing Day in Moffat County and the week of Nov. 12 through 18 Apprenticeship Week. Beck noted the two proclamations go "hand-in-hand," as building a strong manufacturing sector is largely dependent upon having a highly skilled workforce.

A number of Moffat County manufacturers attended the meeting, and Beck offered high praise for their contributions to the local economy.

"All of you guys are assets to this community," Beck said. "We really appreciate all you do."

In other commission business Tuesday:

• Commissioners unanimously approved the hiring of Jesse Schroeder to fill the position of county weed and pest manager, which has been open since June. Siedschlaw noted that Shroeder, who holds a master's degree in rangeland management and has ties to the community, is well-suited to the role.

"I think he'll fit right in," she said. "I feel very lucky to have found him."

Shroeder is slated to start his new position Dec. 17.

• Commissioners unanimously approved requisitions to rehire a case services aide for the Department of Human Services, and a housing administrative coordinator and a housing technician for the Housing Authority. Siedschlaw noted that the housing administrative coordinator's position has been downgraded from a supervisory role, which will save the county about $400 per month.

All the approved positions are replacements which had been previously budgeted.

• Commissioners unanimously approved a trailer application variance request for property owner Chris Jurney.

• Commissioners heard a budget report for July from Curtis, who reported that, at just over halfway through the year, the county was at 1.32 percent under budget. As of July, she said, the county had received 97.04 percent of anticipated property tax revenue and 47.18 percent of anticipated sales tax revenue. Notably, the Road and Bridge Department interest income for July was up slightly, which Curtis attributed to grant funds associated with the recently completed Swinging Bridge at Browns Park rehabilitation project.

• Commissioners unanimously approved a letter to the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado in support of a draft greater sage-grouse habitat map, which was developed in conjunction with Colorado Parks & Wildlife. The map is being proposed as an update to the Bureau of Land Management's map, which is used to create management plans for the species.

The next scheduled meeting of the BOCC is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Contact Jim Patterson at 970-875-1790 or jpatterson@CraigDailyPress.com.