Supervisors choose new health insurance carrier 7/7/2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Supervisors choose new health insurance carrier

By Rupert Howell
Panola supervisors agreed to go with a higher quote on group health insurance due to unsatisfactory experiences with the company providing the lower quote during Monday’s July meeting in Sardis.

The board also voted unanimously, (4-0 – John Thomas was not present) to self insure gap insurance instead of using Premium Saver as before.

Gap is insurance that pays between the $1,000 deductible from $2,000 to $5,000 when the main carrier’s policy kicks in.

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“We had a lot of issues with United Health Care,” District One supervisor James Birge voiced during the discussion prior to a vote being taken.

“And we’ve had very few issues with Blue Cross,” Road manager Lygunnah Bean added to the conversation.

Among the issues mentioned were that some doctors were not in the network and did not accept the insurance plan.

Bean serves as the county’s road department manager and was asked to join the conversation as his department employs many of those who are on the county’s insurance plan. Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby, whose department also employs a sizable fraction of the county’s 173 insured employees, was also in attendance.

The estimated cost of health insurance of the approved plan for the county was listed at $1,665,412. The current year’s cost was estimated at $1,505,972.

Kirk Scoggins who represents the county’s health insurance needs through the Gathings Insurance Partners told supervisors he needed a decision on options offered immediately if possible.

He noted on his price sheet that Aetna did not quote on the health plan and told supervisors that another company’s quote was 30 percent higher than those listed.

A motion to accept Scoggins’ recommendation by District Five Supervisor Cole Flint passed unanimously.

Other business during Monday’s meeting included a report from Emergency Management Coordinator Daniel Wren that three fire departments had now received grants for new turnout equipment.

Cole later reported that only one residential house was flooded and that although water went over several county roads during a holiday weekend deluge, the roads were in good shape once the water drained.

Chancery Clerk Jim Pitcock who serves as the supervisor board’s clerk, informed members that property rolls for Real Property were ready for examination and requested he be allowed to advertise so that property owners could inspect the rolls.

County Administrator Kelley Magee received approval for transfers and reimbursements and also shared that Tax Collector David Garner had estimated a 5.45 percent increase in property value.

Sheriff Dennis Darby received approval for hiring Roger Salter to replace deputy Billy Lambert who had taken another position within the county.

Attorney Bill McKenzie advised board members that Brad Clark’s term as member of Panola Count Industrial Authority Board will expire at the end of July. Board President Kelly Morris said he would talk with Clark about the appointment prior to next week’s meeting in Batesville Monday, July 13.