Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today that the county will save more than $1 million in health care costs for the 2012 budget, as well as cost containment in future years, through a new five-year contract the county has negotiated with Physicians Plus, with the help of Dane County employees.
“These health care savings are critical in helping us address the $8 million dollar deficit in the county’s 2012 budget brought on by severe cuts from the state government,” said Parisi. “The road ahead remains difficult, and will contain shared sacrifice, but we have shown today that we can solve our problems by innovating and working together with our employees.”
The new five-year agreement with Physicians Plus provides health insurance coverage to county employees and their dependents at a reduced premium rate in the first year of the contract. Those savings, in addition to additional premium contributions by county employees, will save Dane County $1.1 million in health care costs in the 2012 budget.
“Physicians Plus has a proud history of providing quality health care to its customers,” said Mike Mohoney, CEO of Physicians Plus. “We are happy to continue our partnership with Dane County and to continue to provide this quality care to the county’s employees.”
These savings are made permanent over five years through a cap on the maximum amount that health insurance premiums could increase under the contract. The agreement contains a 7% rate cap in 2013 and 2014, and a 7.5% rate cap in 2015 and 2016. Both the size and the term of these rate caps are rare in the health insurance market – actuarial advice from the County’s insurance agent suggests that insurance carrier pricing trends fall at an increase of approximately ten percent (10%) annually.
Even more savings could be achieved in the life of the contract through increased employee participation in wellness incentives offered through Physicians Plus. Under the new contract, the county has the ability to further reduce health insurance premium caps by 1% in each year of the contract if wellness participation goals are reached, equating to additional savings of more than $260,000 annually.
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