Lucas Co drops primary health coverage for employee spouses - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Lucas Co drops primary health coverage for employee spouses

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LUCAS COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Lucas County has 3,200 employees, with more than 8,000 people enrolled in its health care plan. Commissioners have approved a plan to drop primary coverage to spouses of county workers.

That will force them to either get insurance through their job or through the national exchange. There are currently 680 county workers that have spouses enrolled.

The move, which goes into effect on March 1, is expected to save the county at least $2 million per year.

"However, they will still have Lucas County as a secondary plan, which means it'll be no reduction in health care that's provided," said Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wozniak, who added that the move is an example of management and labor coming together to take on serious issues.

"This was an option that was put on the table by the workforce," she said. "We embraced that change. We think in the long run we now have a sustainable health care plan."

Regional AFSCME Director Steve Kowalik serves on the county's health care cost containment board, and says it's a cost-driven measure aimed at keeping the county's health care plan financially stable.

"To meet our bills this year, we're going to borrow $1 million from our dental reserve fund and $1 million from our prescription reserve fund to get us through 2013," he said.

 Dependents of county employees will not be affected.       

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