McDonough County saw a number of very high health insurance claims last year. This year the trend has reversed; claims are down significantly.
Through the first seven months of the current fiscal year, claims are about $350,000 lower than at the same time last year.
Finance Committee Chair Alice Henry is breathing a sigh of relief.
She says, “Last year was such an anomaly with our costs being much higher than average. And so it looks like it's kind of equilibrating and getting back to more of an average year.”
The number of individual claims over $35,000 accounts for most of those savings. The amount of such cases is about $263,000 less than last year.
Dental claims were also down slightly, by about $7,000.
Henry says the current trend doesn't mean costs will continue to fall. She says the county usually has one year in every four in which claim costs are very high.
The county is self-insured for claims up to $85,000, then its re-insurance carrier picks up the extra costs for employees.