Health insurance premium increases have prompted Blue Earth County to make changes to the coverage provided to employees – both union and non-union.

Blue Earth County Administrator, Bob Meyer.

County Administrator Bob Meyer said, “The county has historically provided 100 percent coverage of single insurance for our employees and 75 percent coverage of family insurance. We are recommending a change to 90 percent coverage for single insurance and 70 percent coverage for family insurance.”

They’ve also added a higher deductible plan with more affordable premiums and Meyer said it’s, “Combined with a health savings account. The county would contribute to the employee’s health savings account to cover one half of the deductible for both single and family coverage.”

One of the plans has become very expensive, so the county will sunset enrollment in it.

Meyer explained that to make up for the added expense for employees they are adding two steps to the existing pay scale and, “One step would be added to the top of our scale, thereby providing employees with additional earning power. In addition, we are recommending an additional step be added to the bottom of the scale to offset some our future increased labor costs.”

They have also made a slight change to the vacation accrual schedule; the county is also allowing employees with 20 years or more on the job to get a payout of a portion of their accrued sick leave.

The changes go into effect January 1.