|$5 million insurance claim to impact Butler County|
|Written by Associated Press|
|Monday, 26 August 2013 05:20|
HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Officials in a southwest Ohio county are concerned that a whopping insurance claim of more than $5 million will hinder efforts to keep down employee health care benefit costs.
The Hamilton JournalNews reported (http://bit.ly/16xXsZt ) that Butler County officials won't release any details of the claim because of health privacy laws. But Jim Davis, assistant director of human resources for the county, said it is the biggest claim ever handled by its insurance provider, which is the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio. That group provides health care benefits for some 26 Ohio counties.
The claim comes as the county is exploring options to head off rising health costs. The cost of employee health insurance coverage is expected to rise by 7 percent next year. County employees have an average co-pay of 20 percent on medical care.
The big claim will be on the county's record as it shops for lower rates.
"This is (a claim) that people would take notice of," said Eric Seiber of Ohio State University, where he is an assistant professor of health services, management and policy. "It would have been severe. It must have been something truly unusual."
The county commissioners told the human resources department to study options to reduce costs such as incentives for employee spouses to get their own health insurance.
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