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Dane County, Unions Contract Agreement Lower Health Insurance Costs

For more information contact:

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/19/2006

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dane County Kathleen Falk today announced the County and five of the nine employee unions have agreed to 2007-09 contracts featuring health insurance coverage changes predicted to save taxpayers during the first of the three-year agreement.

The savings in health insurance coverage costs to county taxpayers may approach $1.2 million, Falk said, noting the total depends upon the employee enrollment results. Reasonable caps on health insurance coverage rates are in place for the other two years, with the rates to be determined through negotiations between the County and the health care insurance provider on an annual basis.

“Health insurance costs continue to be among the top concerns and costs for both public and private employers here and nationwide,” Falk said of the pending contracts. “I am very pleased the county and its employee representatives were able to negotiate pacts which save dollars in an area known to have the potential to be a budget buster.”

Falk said the predicted significant savings comes as a result of a highly competitive bidding process between three of Dane County’s top health care providers – Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation, Dean Health System and Group Health Cooperative. In the end, Dane County opted to award the contract to Physicians Plus based upon the combination of savings for the county and excellent health care services for employees.

Under the pending contract, employees may select their coverage from Physicians Plus HMO or a point of service plan. “This is an extremely advantageous agreement for the county and provides excellent health care choices for employees,” Falk said.

The County today also will introduce a resolution providing this compensation and insurance package to the County’s management employees.

Also, employees of these five unions will receive pay increases. The first two years – 2007 and 2008 – workers will receive a 2.5 percent increase for the first half and a 1 percent increase in the last half. For 2009, the increase will be delivered in a 2.5 percent increase in the first half of the year and 1.5 percent in latter half. Negotiations continue with the other four unions.

“Dane County employees will receive fair compensation for their hard and good work, while taxpayers all will see some benefits under this agreement,” Falk said. “The bargaining has resulted in a fair agreement.”

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