NIT – Questions are being raised in the community about a $1 million dollar savings to a county employee health plan that was touted this week by Jay Urdahl and the Cerro Gordo board of supervisors. NIT is beginning to look more closely at the claim and how the supposed savings will trickle back to the taxpayers and citizens. Please consider commenting with your questions for the board.
from: Matt Marquardt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
cc: “Drzycimski, Tom” <TDrzyci@co.cerro-gordo.ia.us> date: Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 9:48 AM
Good morning gentlemen.
I have a couple questions I’d like to ask:
1) Sources within the courthouse tell me that it is the Board of Supervisor’s unwritten policy to leave NorthIowaToday.com (me) off of all contact and media press release lists. Is this true?
2) Since the press conference the BOS so tenuously orchestrated (my sources have explained this in great detail) Tuesday regarding the health insurance deal, my phone has been ringing steadily asking me to look deeper into this supposed $1 million dollar savings to the county. This leads me to begin by asking:
A) Where will the taxpayers see this $1 million come back to them? If the savings began in 2014, why was this windfall not reflected in a tax cut for 2015?
B) Will we see a tax cut in 2016 due to this “savings”? How much, would you approximate?
C) If no tax cut, what improvements or public works project(s) can we expect this $1 million to be used on? Improvements at the fairgrounds? Crumbling bridges? Biking/walking trails?
D) Is this a “one time” $1 million for the county or is this an every year savings to the taxpayers?
I’m certain you won’t mind me also making some calls to Des Moines to speak with the insurance company about this plan, as well. I feel there is potentially more to the story, and the citizens of Cerro Gordo deserve to know the whole truth, I’m sure you would agree.
Thanks for your answers.
ORIGINAL COVERAGE OF STORY, FROM TUESDAY, SEPT. 22, 2015:
MASON CITY – Thanks to Obamacare, Cerro Gordo county has saved big on insurance costs for its employees in recent months.
Officials at the courthouse Tuesday claim that the county has saved a net of $1,068,000.21 as a result of what was dubbed as “positive changes” in the county’s employee health care plan.
The county’s top employee, Tom Drzycimski, told NIT that “the Affordable Care Act, … has provided opportunities that were previously unavailable to employers to restructure their plans to derive a cost savings like we’ve accomplished.”
In Cerro Gordo county’s case, Mr. Drzycimski explained, insurer Kingston Life and Health provided “the perfect combination of ACA-expertise and data analytics to propose a solution best tailored to the county’s needs. For us, it was perfect timing.”
The agreement the county now is under with Kingston Life and Health was set in place in July of 2014.