BATH TOWNSHIP — The Bath Township Board of Trustees has implemented a plan that will help township employees and their families transition smoothly to a new healthcare system that goes into effect on New Year’s Day.
During the Nov. 29 regular township meeting, Bath Township Trustee President Steve Ross discussed the new rates for a self-funded healthcare plan that includes vision and dental coverage through the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance (SOCA). Ross pointed out that the average annual premiums would cost significantly less with the new healthcare plan in comparison to the annual premiums the township has paid as a member of the Ohio Public Entity Consortium-Healthcare Cooperative (OPEC-HC) during the past three years.
However, Ross cautioned that the annual rates are subject to change as part of the underwriting process. If the risk associated with providing medical insurance coverage to township employees and their insured dependents increases, annual premiums will increase as well.
“These rates are contingent upon our health conditions,” Ross said. “If suddenly we start having transplants or heart issues during the first four months of this coming year, then in May, we will have a problem. The rates will go up because we are being underwritten based upon our current health records. If in fact we maintain the same health records in 2018, we will continue to see this kind of savings.”
Although the township has not yet received an invoice from OPEC’s administrator Jefferson Health Plan, Ross said the healthcare provider would handle the run-out claims for services provided toward the end of 2017 but are not submitted until 2018.
In addition, all monies the township pays to Jefferson Health Plan until the end of the year will be place into an escrow account that will be managed by the court. The township will also use a third-party administrator, TASC (Total Administrative Services Corporation), to deal with health reimbursement arrangements and to administer the current health plan into 2018.
Ross said the township would hold a meeting to discuss the transitional period with township employees. He also publically praised Township Fiscal Officer Elaine Brown and Cemetery Supervisor Teresa Phillips for doing a “wonderful job” processing and completing the paperwork that was involved with the transitional process.
“This is all going to be behind us. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Ross said. “I believe we have a good plan here.”
The township board of trustees meet in regular sessions at 7 p.m. on the first, third and fifth (if there is one) Wednesday of each month at the township’s office building. The public is welcome.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.
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