McDuffie County employees with a family medical insurance plan will pay more for coverage this year than they paid in 2011.
The family premium rose from $199.52 to $232.61, which would increase the county’s expenditures by $10,000 in 2012.
The rising costs can be attributed to high insurance claims from county employees’ spouses in 2011, said County Manager Don Norton.
Employees will make up the difference by paying $10.46 more per pay period, he said.
“We do have a good employee health plan that covers all the employee’s costs and about 66 percent for spouses or dependents,” he said.
“If the employee picks up an extra $10 per pay period, that’s only reducing what the county’s paying by 1 or 2 percent.”
At a Dec. 20 meeting, the board of commissioners voted unanimously to have county employees pay the difference. Of 125 county employees, the increase will affect the 35 who are covered by the family medical insurance plan.
If the county covered the difference, the money would have to come from the contingency fund, Norton said.
“We argued last meeting about reducing our contingency fund,” Chairman Charlie Newton said. “That’s probably the most responsible thing we can do.”
Norton also expressed concern about relying too heavily on the county’s contingency fund, which is lower than in years past.
“Particularly with the budget in the situation it’s in now, we’re trying to limit what we take out of there,” he said.