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Cumberland temporarily avoids Obamacare

Joe P. Asher Staff Writer

September 14, 2013

Insurance rates were the first order of business during a meeting of the Cumberland City Council on this week.


Mayor Carolyn Elliott told council the city’s agents, Ed Lyttle and Lonnie Burkhart, were in attendance to give an update on the effect of early renewal on the city’s insurance payments.


“Obamacare — or health care reform — starts in January,” said Lyttle. “In order to try to keep you guys out of that for a year, Anthem is offering you the opportunity to renew early, to move your renewal date to Dec. 1 of this year.”


According to Lyttle, this will keep the city out of health care reform until 2015.


“Basically what they’re saying is if you move your renewal date to Dec. 1… your renewal rate is 5 percent,” said Lyttle. “If you wait till 2014, the estimated renewal rate on it is about 19 percent.”


Lyttle advised the panel they did not have to take an early renewal option, but early renewal was available.


Councilman Charles Raleigh asked how long the rate would be in effect if the council took the early renewal option.


“The rates are locked in for a year at a time,” said Lyttle.


The council passed a motion to take the early renewal option.


Elliott advised council that a R.E. Bob Frazier Foundation grant the city had needed to make repairs to a pump station had been denied.


“We have been denied the pump,” said Elliott. “But we are going to re-apply and they’re going to look at it.”


Elliott explained the pump was not in the scope of work the grant would allow.


“At this time, they considered that maintenance,” said Elliott.


Raleigh mentioned some other cities had used such a grant for similar purposes.


“Within the scope of what we could ask for at that time, it wasn’t included,” said Elliott.


Elliott advised council the city would apply for the grant again in order to include the pump station.


In other council activity:


* Elliott advised she had been in contact with the owner of the Maynard Hardware building and had been told the owner could not afford to tear it down. Elliott told the council the owner wanted to work with the city to resolve the situation;


* Raleigh and Cumberland resident Jim Bush donated a sign to the city for the Norma Jean Bowyer Memorial Park.


Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, jasher@civitasmedia.com