Chickasaw County tries to cap insurance costs

By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors received notice of an upcoming increase in health insurance for county employees at the Nov. 20 meeting and are hoping to foster a preventative health program to help curb costs.

Houston Minniece addressed board members with a breakdown of benefits and said the county is looking at about a 15 percent increase to cover employees and said emergency room costs are a major cost factor. He explained to the board that, instead of seeking medical treatment during working hours, some employees are taking minor illnesses to the emergency rooms.

“They need to implement this wellness,” Minniece said of preventative coverage. “Don’t wait until you’re sick to go to the emergency room. Preventative medicine is what we want for do for our county and people.”

Scott Cagle of the Chickasaw County/MSU Extension Service said his office is prepared to offer an educational meeting for county employees about routine and regular preventative treatment after the first of the year.

The county pays 100 percent of employee’s health coverage while employees may opt to pay to add spouses and dependents.

“I think we need to educate our employees about the things they need to do with this insurance,” said Supervisor Russell Brooks.

In other business, the board:

* Took under advisement bids to replace a bridge on CR 52, Phillips Construction of Columbus submitted the lowest bid at $199,557.

* Accepted a donation of ten computers from the Chickasaw County/MSU Extension Service

* Heard a report from Sheriff Jimmy Simmons on the work inmate program. Inmates recently finished renovation work at the Health Department in Houston and will begin on the Tax Assessor’s office after Thanksgiving.

* Approved the hire of Tri State Consultants to set up a website for mapping in the Tax Assessor’s office. Assessor Sue Ard said the site will be beneficial to individuals, attorneys and real estate agents to use for researching back tax payments and will alleviate foot traffic in the office. The site will also produce a savings from not having to hire extra personnel during tax season.

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