County insurance is being reviewed

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County Commissioners sent a consultant and his team back to its insurance review committee to gather more input after a contentious debate broke out during a presentation to the board Monday.

Spencer Allen, a consultant from Wells Fargo, presented commissioners with an upgraded plan Monday to consolidate the county's health insurance plans from three options to two in an effort to trim costs while bolstering the different health insurance plans.

County officials are trying to dig themselves out of a $2.5 million hole caused by increasing health insurance costs.

Allen told commissioners that since June, 20 employees had dropped off the county's insurance program with another 66 ineligible spouses discovered during an audit.

This, coupled with a move to shift the costs more from the county onto the employees, will allow the county to save $1.4 million over the next year.

Allen is also recommending that the county increase premiums and deductibles to offset costs.

Tempers flared when Allen recommended pulling AFLAC from the county's voluntary benefits roster.

AFLAC representative Chris Glover said he was never invited to bid on the service and said that, if given the opportunity, he believed his package could beat any of those on the table.

After several minutes of discussion, debate and rebuttal, commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard recommended that the county's insurance review committee get additional input from those interested in being a vendor for the program and bring it back before the commission.