Motion to raise health, dental insurance for Webb Co. employees fails

An health and dental insurance increase for county employees by the health care provider of Webb County was proposed this week. However, the motion failed.

An increase is expected to be proposed again next year in July due to not having enough surplus at the moment. Rates will remain the same for seven months in the future. 

In an item submitted by Samantha Sanchez, AETNA Health Insurance and AETNA Dental Insurance rates for Webb County employees to be effective January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023 would have had an increase of up to $13.37 with co-pays for medical visits with the primary care physician remain at $10 and specialists’ co-pay remaining at $20 as mandated by the court.

Risk Management Director Dr. Pedro Alfaro said during the meeting that rates are always looked at to stay the same or be less, but many counties all across the border have already experienced the increase.

“We have always been very concerned about the cost and the county contributions,” he said. “This year, because our careful management and handling, we will see an increase.”

The purpose of the presented motion was to provide a balanced health care plan for Webb County employees and their dependents so as to have access to affordable health care.

Also, by rates rising up, more benefits would be implemented for dental such as services like braces, crowns and more treatments. 

As memberships of the employees’ insurance plan saw an increase of 856 members in 2018 to 2,317 as of May, the idea was to increase coverage benefits and provide the plan for spouses and family to increase enrollment. However, the plan employee and their spouse and children would have had a cost of $211.88 for health care and $22.41 for dental insurance per pay period, $13.37 and $2.75 more than before, respectively. 

A factor for the proposed increase was to have more hours open at the clinic, as it was only open for four hours over three days a week. It was instead looked to be open over a full-time basis. 

karol.garcia@lmtonline.com

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