Georgia County Government - January 2009 - (Page 30)

Feature ACCG, BCBS of Georgia Work Together to Improve County Employee Health By Albert C. Jones, CLU ARM Over the past five years it has become clear that a combination of insurer-based disease management programs and county work-site wellness programs are necessary to control rising health insurance premiums and improve the health status of employees and their families. ll too often employer negotiations with health insurers tend to focus on fixed costs: claims administration fees, network fees, cost of risk and other services. However, fi xed costs make up at most 10 to 15 percent of total premiums. Surprisingly to many, 85 to 90 percent of the premium is the cost of medical claims. As a result, even tremendously successful insurer negotiations that reduced fi xed costs by 20 percent, would reduce premiums by only three percent. Reducing claims by 20 percent reduces premiums by 17 percent, or more. Clearly, the real culprit in rising premiums is increasing medical claims, which typically rise about 3 times as fast as overall CPI. A Today, more than 70 percent of all health claims are for chronic illnesses that afflict more than 125 million Americans. Their numbers are expected to grow steadily and costs will likely rise to more than 80 percent of claims by 2020. These are illnesses that persist for long periods of time, perhaps for the life of the individual. “Chronic” comes from the Greek, chronos and means lasting a long time. Addressing chronic illness is a challenging and critical issue for counties. Many employees live with chronic diseases which also affect their productivity and attendance records. During the 1980s, Work-site Wellness Programs became popular as a way to promote healthier employee lifestyles and reduce future medical claims. Wellness programs proved successful for many people, The ACCG Insurance Department teams up with Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS) to coordinate employee wellness programs in counties. From left, Insurance Programs Manager David Uhlman, LGRMS Employee Wellness Program Coordinator Sherea Robinson, Insurance Claims Manager Abby Garland, LGRMS Assistant Wellness Coordinator Candace Amos, ACCG Director of Insurance Programs David Paulk and ACCG Field Services Manager Ben Pittarelli. 30 GEORGIA COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - January 2009

Georgia County Government - January 2009
President’s Message
County Matters
Forward-Thinking Bulloch County Leaders Put Progress on the Front Burner
Robert Farris: Champion for Georgia’s Forests
ACCG, BCBS of Georgia Work Together to Improve County Employee Health
Georgia’s Grand Old Courthouses: McIntosh County
Extension News: Cooperative Extension Generates ROI
Research Corner: How Does Your County Rate?
County Parade
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - January 2009