Health insurance premiums for Pulaski County employees are expected go go up about 20 percent when it’s time to renew. Insurance agent Dave Bennett stresses that’s a best guess and a lot of factors could play into the increase. He tells the commissioners he should have hard numbers for them in mid-June so they can make a decision in July. A lot of the uncertainty, and possible increase in cost, has to do with implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. The county has offered health insurance through Cigna for several years. Commissioners asked Bennett to get rates from some other companies as well. One option the commissioners could consider if costs get too far out of hand is to no longer offer health insurance as a benefit to employees and pay $188,000 in penalties instead. Bennett stresses this isn’t really an option, as the 124 full-time employees who qualify for health insurance would expect pay raises to make up for the lost benefit.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.