County may add health savings option to employee benefits


LEE COUNTY – Lee County is looking at adding an option for county employees to use a health savings account option to help cover annual medical out-of-pocket expenses.

At Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Lee County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Matt Pflug updated the board on discussions that have been ongoing with the county’s insurance manager, Group Benefit Partners out of Fort Madison.

Pflug said a committee looking at the county’s health insurance plan is considering an option presented by GBP Co-owner Justin Pieper.

The plan would give the county’s approximate 125 employees another option in health care coverage.

“The employee would have the option of selecting that. There would be savings to the county,” Pflug said. “They could either stay where they are at, or select the HSA. But I think it’s a good idea to give them the option and they’ll have to have the knowledge on making that decision on which way they want to go.”

The county would give $100 per month on individual plans and $200 per month on family plans that would go into an account. Pieper said the employee would also be able to add money, before tax, to the account up to $7,000 on a family plan.

But the plan would double the deductibles from the current $750 individual and $1,500 family and all copays and prescriptions would be paid out of the HSA until the deductible was met.

“If they participate in the HSA compatible health plan the county would contribute $100/month and that can roll from year-to-year,” Pieper said Tuesday. “It’s tax free going in and tax free when it comes out as long as it’s spent on qualified medical expenses.”

Any unqualified withdrawals would be subject to penalties and taxes. Pieper said at retirement age, the money can be withdrawn for other uses without penalty, but taxed at the marginal tax rate.

He said premiums would stay the same regardless of which plan is chosen by the employee.

In other action, the board:

• approved a replacement hiring in the Lee County Attorney’s office.

•approved hiring a replacement maintenance worker in the Secondary Roads Department.

• heard from Lee County Engineer Ben Hull on a proposed five-year plan for secondary roads that will be submitted for approval at Tuesday’s meeting.

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