Lyon County Board OKs benefits updates

MARSHALL – Members of the Lyon County Board approved updates to health benefits for county employees Monday.

In a special meeting, county administrator Loren Stomberg presented employee participation rates for health benefits in 2014.

“Probably the bigger change is moving away from the cafeteria system,” Stomberg said of the proposed rates. Although employees wouldn’t be participating in a cafeteria plan for health benefits, he said monthly participation rates would stay mainly the same. Single and family plans were offered at $1,200, $2,600 and $5,000. One family plan, the $5,000, would have a lower monthly contribution and VEBA contribution than it did in 2013, Stomberg said.

Stomberg said he had talked about the participation rates with county department heads.

Commissioners voted to approve the proposed employee participation rates.

One concern commissioners had discussed at previous meetings was whether county commissioners should be required to participate in county health benefits. In discussion, they had pointed out that commissioners may already have health insurance before they are elected, and being able to opt out of county benefits could save money.

However, at Monday’s meeting, Board Chairman Rick Anderson suggested they wait until the Nov. 5 commissioner meeting to discuss the matter further.

The county is already facing some changes, in a transition to providing its own health insurance instead of renewing a service agreement with Southwest/West Central Service Cooperatives. It might be better to keep to the status quo for now and avoid complicating the transition, Anderson said.

– Deb Gau