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Dane County Saves $1-Million in Health Care Costs

For more information contact:

Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9/10/2008

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
County Negotiates New Deal with Health Provider; Incentives Offered for Prevention

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today the county will save $1-million in health care costs in the 2009 county budget by re-negotiating the contract with its health insurance provider. The new three-year deal with Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation holds down rate increases and offers incentives for even lower costs if employees take advantage of wellness and prevention programs.

“Given the economy, this is the second hardest county budget I’ll put together, so I have looked at every possible way to reduce county costs,” Falk said. “This new contract ensures continued high quality coverage for our sheriff’s deputies, health care and social workers, our snowplow-operators, and the countless other county employees who take great pride in the hard work they do and saves taxpayer money.”

The original health contract would have raised the cost to provide insurance coverage for current employees and retirees to over $24-million next year, an increase of 13%. Under the new three-year contract, that increase will be limited to 7% next year and 11% in both 2010 and 2011 if a certain number of county employees participate in health risk assessments.

Those assessments are designed to promote wellness and identify chronic health conditions, like high blood pressure, that are often preventable but contribute to the rapid rise in health care costs.

“By encouraging wellness and prevention, we’re helping our employees and their families be healthier and saving taxpayers money,” Falk said.

Under Dane County’s contract with Physicians Plus, incentives and reimbursement are offered to employees who participate in preventative care programs on weight management, smoking cessation, nutrition, stress management, and other health improvement topics.

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