Lewis County looks to save money on retiree insurance rates

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - Lewis County could team up with the Broome County Purchasing Alliance, a group of several counties that get better insurance rates.

The county projects it will save close to $2 million in its first year if it were to move forward with a new Medicare health program for nearly 300 county retirees.

“The whole goal is to save money for the county. In this case, it would be maybe $2 million a year, which would enable us to not to have to raise the cost of health insurance premiums in January of 2024,” said Lewis County Legislator Larry Dolhof.

The group proposing this is Broome County Purchasing Alliance.

“Everything that is designed in this program is designed to help our retirees,” said Statewide Purchasing Alliance of NY President Doug Bulman.

Under the Medicare Advantage plan, major medical services would be paid in full with no copayments.

“Every patient, every retiree who’s seen a provider, that provider accepts Medicare. They are in-network with us,” said Bulman.

Generic prescription drugs have a zero-cost co-payment, $5 for preferred brand name drugs, and $20 for non-preferred brand name drugs, also including a bonus list of drugs.

“Areas of disruption, pharmacy and providers well we have eliminated those,” said Bulman.

Also, things not offered now would be included, like nurse house calls, fitness center memberships, and hearing aid discounts.

The program will be presented to the full board of legislators on September 5.

If a resolution were to pass, town hall meetings would be scheduled and county retirees could ask questions.