Lexington officials say health insurance funding plan continues to work

by Stu Johnson | WEKU

During a time when health care costs continue to rise, Lexington Council members have been advised the City’s health insurance strategy continues to work. Major changes were made to save costs more than a decade ago. That’s when the urban county government implemented both an employee medical clinic and a pharmacy. Benji Marrs is the senior benefit manager with Bim Group. He was asked last week if worker premiums benefits could result from Lexington joining other local governments in providing health insurance.

“Your resources allocated are at full capacity, so adding any more organizations or eligibility classes to requires additional staff up of clinicians, and then you have to access who’s using the most of what,” said Marrs.

Marrs said there’s an additional need for feedback and reporting. He told members of the budget committee it can get complicated. Marrs says more than 79% of employees access the medical clinic and over half have prescriptions filled at the government pharmacy.

During the presentation, Finance Commissioner Erin Hensley said overall government subsidy healthcare costs are going up by about a million dollars each six months. Health Insurance Consultant Benji Marrs said the City can keep up with those costs.

“When we look at a million dollars relative to LFUCG’s $35 million spend we’re significantly below those national healthcare trend increases. So, LFUCG is able to absorb the entire amount which is less than what other employers are absorbing when they’re only taking on half of their increases,” said Marrs.

Marrs noted the national trend in healthcare inflationary costs has been a four to five percent increase year over year.

Healthcare spen analysis from August 29 BFEDC presentation. (LFUCG)

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Photo: Lexington City Hall (Wikimedia Commons)