Audit set for health care eligibility

An internal audit regarding all county employees and their dependents covered by the county’s health insurance benefit plan has been requested by the Bartholomew County Commissioners.

Dunn and Associates, which administers the plan for the county, will be asked to verify four things about each person covered under the plan:

That each covered child is younger than 26 and meets other qualifications regarding their relationship with the employee.

Whether working adult children younger than 26 that are covered don’t have health insurance coverage being offered by their employer.

Whether working spouses have coverage available elsewhere.

If the person receiving benefits is eligible for Medicare.

Under new or recent requirements, the county’s 440 full-time employees who have health care coverage available through other employers will no longer be eligible to be enrolled on the county’s plan, Commissioners Chairman Larry Kleinhenz said.

When the requirement regarding working spouses was introduced at the beginning of the year, more than 80 husbands or wives were dropped from the plan, Kleinhenz said.

“While you hear a lot of horror stories from elsewhere, we believe only qualified individuals are on the county’s plan,” Kleinhenz said.

“But it doesn’t hurt to turn over some rocks and take a closer look.”

Although a complete audit is expected to be time-consuming, Kleinhenz said he will request that Dunn and Associates undertake the task without additional cost to county taxpayers.

Last week, Dunn and Associates submitted the lowest of five bids to retain its long-held position as the county’s third-party plan administrator.

Its bid of $108,000 was $59,000 less than what was submitted by the second-lowest bidder.

The audit is the latest of several steps being taken by the self-insured county to control expenses after health care costs more than doubled from 2013 to 2014.

Health insurance proposals under consideration for next year could roughly double both a county worker’s contribution and annual deductible.

However, those plans are still being examined and modified by insurance broker and consultant Greg Fox, Kleinhenz said.

After all specifics to the new plans are addressed by Fox, a four-member benefit trust committee is expected to determine whether it will be adopted for next year, Kleinhenz said.

He said a committee decision can be expected within two weeks.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.