Addressing an issue at a recent meeting of the Harlan Fiscal Court and listed in a recent audit conducted on the court by the Kentucky State Auditor’s Office, which has not been released to the public at this time, Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop said the auditors were concerned about the county doing reimbursements for co-pays and deductibles on county employees’ insurance.
“In a proposal I sent back to the auditor’s office I said that we would remove that,” said Grieshop. “The reason we had it in there on the reimbursement of the co-pays was so that we could go with higher deductibles. We were cited for not tracking those very well, paying what we shouldn’t have paid, overpaying and different things like that. Until we can get a handle on that and change that, it’s my recommendation that we remove the reimbursement for co-payments and/or flexible spending.”
Harlan County Treasurer Ryan Creech told Grieshop the flexible spending didn’t need to be removed only the reimbursement for co-payments and deductibles.
“I think part of the issue is that it may be, if we’re reimbursing employees those funds that it may, should be taxable to the employee maybe — possibly. That could be part of the issue,” said Creech. “If they are going to do that then we probably need to offer them more of a flex spending plan rather than reimbursing them for their co-pays.”
Grieshop added county employees “have the gift of insurance” and in order to get the price “under better control” the county offered higher deductibles.
“They still have the gift of insurance,” said Grieshop. “We’re reaching out really well to our employees, but this is so complicated it’s causing problems on the treasurer’s office to keep up with it. What ever deducible we negotiate we should live with. It’s not as though we’re taking away insurance we’re just saying you’re responsible for the co-pay.”
Creech agreed with Grieshop saying he also recommends the county stop reimbursing county employees for their insurance co-payments as recommended by the state auditor’s office.
A motion was made and approved to remove the co-payment and deducible reimbursement for county employee insurance effective immediately.
The court then went into executive session per KRS 61.810 (l) (c) and returned with no action taken.
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