Tribune Star Correspondent
Health insurance and year-end board appointments were the primary focus of the Daviess County Commissioners during their final meeting of 2012 Friday morning at the courthouse.
Carolyn Beck, representing SIHO Insurance Services in Evansville, presented the commissioners with an amendment to the county’s health insurance plan that contained a number of changes required by The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare.” One such change involved coverage for contraception, which Beck explained following a question by Board of Commissioners President Tony Wichman.
“No, you do not have a choice on that,” she said.
The amended SIHO plan also contained provisions for smoking cessation counseling and medication, and detailed changes in the names of network providers employees can use should they require dialysis treatment. Beck said the various changes “will help the plan save money and allow the employees to take advantage of deeper discounts.”
Following the signing of the health insurance amendment, the commissioners reviewed a second proposed amendment submitted by Paul Williams, the county’s insurance broker, changing the county’s reinsurance provider. Williams said since the county is partially self-funded, reinsurance costs are critical. He added he routinely monitors reinsurance costs as a service to the county and “shops them around to try and save the county money.”
By changing carriers from American Fidelity to American National in this instance, Williams said the county would save around $200,000 in the coming year. Williams’ amendment was unanimously approved.
The board next addressed the need to appoint someone to the Daviess County Ambulance Board, but county attorney Grant Swartzentruber said the ordinance providing for the appointment first needs some revision. Swartzentruber went on to explain the ambulance board position is typically filled by the EMT coordinator from Daviess Community Hospital, but the hospital has since eliminated that position so he will need to amend the ordinance before the appointment can be finalized.
Wichman added he does not know of anyone actively interested in accepting the appointment but indicated that could change when the hospital board meets after the first of the year. Following discussion, the appointment was tabled until the ordinance is amended and the hospital makes its recommendation.
Regarding an appointment to the Daviess County Community Corrections Advisory Board, Wichman read part of a letter from current board member Pat Dant, who is retiring from the sheriff’s department.
“I feel it is in the best interest of the board that I resign my position so you may pick someone that is closer to the daily operation of the program,” Dant wrote in the letter.
Wichman told the other commissioners he would talk to the sheriff and see if he had another person in mind for the vacancy.
The Daviess County Redevelopment Commission met prior to the commissioners meeting and recommended the commissioners appoint Phil O’Haver of Washington to replace Kent Parisien on the board of the Westgate@Crane Authority Board. The Redevelopment Commission also recommended the commissioners reappoint current members Richard Cottrell and Roy Crawford. Both recommendations were approved.
Under other business, the commissioners discussed the status of the Bennington Levee repairs and agreed to recommend that the Daviess County Council transfer certain monies pertaining to the levee from insurance funds to the Riverboat Fund. County Auditor Gail Doades said the county has $30,937 in a fund to finance damage repair at the north end of the levee and $43,788 in a fund relating to the south end.
Following the anticipated transfer, the combined balance of the two funds, representing what remains of settlement proceeds from litigation in which the county was a party, will be used to satisfy final claims pertaining to levee repair. Doades anticipated most of the money will eventually be paid to Robinson Excavation and Construction LLC, the Vincennes-based contractor in charge of performing remedial work on the levee.