Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Is The County Hiding About Our Health Insurance?

This from one of our readers:
"Regarding the post concerning the health benefit meeting: Well, it was pretty sad. I can say without hesitation that Mercer Healthcare - who put together this poo - didn't really come that prepared. Also, someone from the audience pointed out that the handouts did not contain the full info regarding deductibles. 

I for one came out of there feeling like the Finance Department and Mercer were playing some sort of shell game. It was made clear that we would not get the full story until open enrollment. 

Plus - retiree information for people over 65 was not made available...makes you wonder what is going to happen to this group."
Makes us worried that we will loose even more of our benefits when open enrollment comes around.  Rumor has it, our retirees, or at least those 65 and over, will see an increase in their health insurance premiums by as much a 6%. Sounds as if Benita Ransom suddenly realized she has screwed everybody but our retirees. Now it's their time.

Nothing like rewarding loyalty and dedication, huh?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It has been obvious for some time now that something is not on par with the recent healthcare changes. It is less costly for the employee to purchase their own policy with better coverage than what they receive from the county. How can the county claim to be spending 70% of the cost for the current pitiful coverage. The answer as always with Dekalb is someone is receiving kickbacks. Would be another great story of Dekalb corruption if any investigative reporter wishes to trace the expense paper trail.

Anonymous said...

How much you want to bet its a black owned company?

Anonymous said...

....And furthermore...the audience asked several questions that Mercer either gave incorrect info or really didn't seem to know the answer....why in the world didn't the "Employee relations/benefit committee" ask representatives from both Kaiser and Cigna to be present? What the heck would it have hurt to have these people there? When Mercer or Joel Gottlieb (don't you just love the color he is dyeing his hair these days?)were not able to answer the commissioners' questions - then, Jeff Rader would ask Gottlieb to call Kaiser's/Cigna's rep. and then get back with him. Like that's gonna happen. I drive too far to attend poorly planned, poorly executed meetings. What was with Elaine Boyer? I called her office earlier that morning and was told she was ready and had no intention of not showing. Get there, first thing they announce is that she called in "sick." Must have been a "sudden" illness...

Anonymous said...

To 5:15 p m: I 2nd that. Right on the money (no pun intended).

Anonymous said...

Just wait. As soon as obama care comes on line the county will drop our insurance altogether. They, like most big companies will decide that it's cheaper to pay the penalty's than the insurance cost. Many companies have already said they will do this so you know the county will. Then they will have more money to spend on themselves and their friends!

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea..... get the FOP and the Fire's equivalent together for the purpose of forming a group that we could purchase health insurance through.....

Of course, the county should be held expected to contribute some portion OR increase our salaries by the amount they save by not offering health benefits as part of our compensation.

Just a thought.....

PS.....this year I'm paying higher premiums for less coverage ....my family has paid over $2,500 this year in copays..... and Kiaser may be good but, having to drive to a central location for cafeteria type healthcare seems just one step removed from single payer Obama care. I'm not interested in British or Canadian type offerings.....I want my doctor! Not a clinic!

Anonymous said...

How can smaller counties get better and lower cost on the same insurance plans? I think that some kind of pay off or kick backs must be happening.

All you have to do is compare these plans with other counties that have less employees and wonder why they have a better rate on premiums than DeKalb.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully most of you saw the writing on the wall and were smart enough to take the $2,000.00 opt out payment offered last open enrollment. This allowed the purchasing of your own less expensive, better coverage policy of YOUR choice.

Anonymous said...

Loyalty and dedication? That's a joke in Dekalb. The rulers don't understand a damn bit of loyalty and dedication and they never have....except for those in the Good 'ole boy network. The good 'ole boys, the fair hair's always seemed to get the promotions, assignments etc..the rest of us always got the scratchings off the floor.

LoFlyer said...

The official DeKalb government employee policy has been reduce salary offering a 4 percent Cost of living increase while inflation increased 20 percent in the same time frame, reduce raises except for political staff, reduce insurance benefits while raising cost, co-pays and deductables, the new pension plans. At every instance DeKalb politicians have elected to screw the employees to pay for the big bond issues over the last decade.
The BOC and CEO will not even talk to you guys in a town-hall discussion of current events affecting employees. They haven't talked to you in 15 years.
Why is DeKalb government, virtually a one party government dominated by the "working folkes party", the darling of the Unions, so anti-employee in its salaries, benefits, pension and employee communication policy of the last decade?
For the party controlling DeKalb government this is an absolute disgrace and hypocritical in regards to the party's heavily pro-labor platform. DeKalb employees only want a fair deal, its not like they are being unreasonable in the issue. You wan't even conscend to talk to them.
I welcome logical debate from any of DeKalb's rulers on this issue.
KenC

Anonymous said...

If the idiots running the show in downtown Decatur had to choose between a company that would provide better service at a lower cost and a company that would screw the employees over, provide worse service and cost us and the county more money, they'd go with that company just to screw us over.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1:12AM If you have health care cost comparisons like you talk about, try to make them public.

Try Belcher at WSB TV and ahunt@ajc.com

That there is some kind of a kickback or payoff would not surprise me. DK County government disguises corruption with gross incompetence.

@ LoFlyer. I understand your frustration. I am a taxpayer in
North DK. Assessed value of house is still the same as the inflated days of 2007-08. Just got hit with a 26% County tax increase. Retired people on fixed incomes are really getting hit.

Anonymous said...

Fixed income... That's always been a term or phrase that I've never quite understood....AREN'T WE ALL ON A FIXED INCOME... unless I rob a bank, my paycheck/take home will be the same every two weeks.

Ellis isn't giving me a little extra because I'm short at the end of the week.

Just saying..

Anonymous said...

When you look up Mercer Health Care, it seems to be a consulting firm..did the county hire this group to consult on insurance?

Anonymous said...

Face it.....Simply put...DEKALB COUNTY IS RUN BY IDIOTS AND CROOKS WHO LINE THEIR OWN POCKETS AND SCREW THE THEIR FELLOW EMPLOYEES EVERY CHANCE THEY GET !!!

Anonymous said...

I an equally confused. I tried to find out more about mercer health care and could not.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that the county is self-insured. This means that you really don't have Kaiser or Cigna, they are paid a fee by the county to process health fees. The county then pays the claim submitted by the doctor, etc. A portion of your monthly premium goes to pay your plan administrator and the other portion goes into a fund to pay claims. If the county choses not to pay a claim, either on the advice of your plan administrator or just because they decide not to, you are pretty much screwed. Being self-insured, prevents employees from having any recourse with the State Insurance Commissioner's office and/or with the federal government.
If you can afford it, you would be much better off with private healthcare, as you would have certain legal protections.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:55 pm, please don't post anymore. You are very, very wrong and confused. The county is self insured for on the job stuff, like accidents and injuries. Your health care plan that covers off duty sickness and your kids is provided by cigna or kaiser. They are paid partially each pay check by you and partially by the county. Downtown Decatur doesn't decide if they are going to pay for your kid breaking his arm when he fell out of a tree in your back yard. That decision is made by your provider, cigna or kaiser.

Anonymous said...

This brings up another issue regarding hipaa privacy laws. These same privacy rules have been breached time and time again for various self serving reasons within Dekalb government.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:55 PM,

Stop pretending like you a clue what you are talking about. You are Exhibit 1 for how this department's hiring standards have declined. Please resign immediately.

Anonymous said...

Dekalb will one day not have a county police dept....or have a very small one like Fulton does now.

If you care about your family or your retirement then you should go to work for a city department like Sandy Springs or Alpharetta.

Dekalb has seen its best days and they are long gone, jump ship. You cant change how the majority of people in this county vote...which is black and democrat.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:55 is partially right. Kaiser is fully insured which means they determine & handle all claims. Cigna is self insured which means they arrange the doctor's networks and provide billing, but the bills come back to the County to pay. The people in the Finance Benefits office don't make the decisions on what to pay, that is in your health plan description of benefits.

Just as LowFlyer mentioned before, people keep mixing up Human Resources and Finance. Benita is the HR Director and doesn't control the benefits or the Mercer consultants.