(Juneau) The Dodge County Board was presented with a proposal Tuesday night that would see the county enter into a health insurance consortium with Jefferson County. The reason behind the initiative is to have both counties join forces in an effort to improve insurance buying power. Last year, discussion began between the two counties along with M3 Insurance who assisted with a review of consortiums, cooperatives and trusts.
Director of Human Resources Sarah Hinze says the partnership would pull resources from both entities which would result in improved buying power. She says with state plan, which they are currently on, does not allow for multiple plan designs. Hinze says there is also uncertainty if the state health insurance plan the county uses will be offered in the future. She also noted that the annual premium rates from the state are not released until mid-September while Dodge County is well into their budget preparation.
Following the research phase, the Human Resources and Labor Negotiations Committee recommended moving forward with a low and high detectable plan offered by DeanCare as a proposed replacement to their current option. Hinze says the county board will be presented with three resolutions during their meeting next month. The first resolution would see the county withdraw from the state plan which needs to be completed by October 1st, the second would be to go with DeanCare as their health insurance provider and the third would be to offer the low and high deductible plan options.
Currently, Dodge and Jefferson Counties along with the cities of Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Waterloo, Whitewater, Lake Mills and Beaver Dam would make up the consortium. Hinze says other cities could join at any time if the partnership is approved.