Georgia County Government - January/February 2012 - (Page 7)

Director’sDesk Invest in Your County’s Future with ACCG’s Membership Services Programs E By Ross King Executive Director At ACCG, our business is county government and our programs and staff are focused on your needs. very penny counts when it comes to managing budgets, especially when budgets are tight. One of the priorities of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) is to provide high quality membership services to help counties operate efficiently and benefit from the collective purchasing power of local government. From insurance and retirement programs to financing options for equipment and capital expenditures and more, ACCG offers a wide range of programs staffed by experts that specialize in the needs of Georgia counties. T he ACCG Insu ra nce Prog ra ms a re designed to allow counties and other government jurisdictions to come together to pool risk through a risk-financing mechanism similar to a mutual, non-profit insurance company. These programs have proven remarkably successful and cost efficient. Approximately 85 percent of local governments nationwide participate in these types of program. Workers’ compensation coverage is provided through the Group Self Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund (GSIWCF), while property and liability insurance is provided through the Interlocal Risk Management Agency (IRMA). The success of these programs can be measured in part through the dividends that are traditionally returned as premium credits to counties participating in the program. In addition, ACCG operates its own Claims Administration Services Office to process claims which results in superior customer service provided by professionals who understand local government operations. The rising cost of health insurance is another concern for counties. ACCG offers a Group Health Benefits Program in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. ACCG is working with this nationally recognized health insurance provider to identify ways to help counties understand health insurance cost trends and make smart choices regarding employee benefits. The Inmate Health Care Program is an extension of this BCBS partnership and allows counties to receive significant network discounts when paying for medical care for jailed inmates. There is no cost to sign up for this program — counties simply pay an administrative fee when a medical bill is paid. Through September 2011, 114 participating counties had saved over $29.8 million on inmate health care. Counties participating in ACCG’s Insurance Programs also have access to Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS). This program offers risk assessment and training for county employees ranging from defensive driving to human resources practices. Health and wellness training also is available to help encourage healthier lifestyles among county employees. LGRMS is staffed by twelve full-time, loss-control professionals and these programs are offered at no cost to counties participating in one of the insurance programs. Their website can be accessed at ACCG offers retirement services through the Government Employee Benefits Corporation, known as GEBCorp, providing comprehensive 401(a) Defined Contribution, 457(b) Deferred Compensation and Defined Benefit programs tailored to meet the needs of each jurisdiction. Through these programs, ACCG provides a network of regional representatives that can work with individual employees on retirement planning. In addition, the Association has developed an experienced team of external investment advisors, auditors, actuaries and others to ensure strong fiscal oversight of all county and employee funds invested in the program. Before making any changes to employee retirement service offerings, counties should consult GEBCorp for an analysis of options to understand the full impact of any such changes. When it comes to insurance and retirement programs, county commissioners should know the process for assessing and selecting a provider to ensure the best investment for county funds, the most efficient option for administration and the strongest commitment to customer service. DIRECTOR’S DESK continued on page 8 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - January/February 2012

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Guest Editorial: Together We Stand
Harris County: Smart Investments Paying Dividends for the Future
EMS Delivery Models in Georgia
How New EMS Technologies are Improving Patient Care
Regional EMS: Opportunities for Better Service and Lower Costs?
EMS Leadership Course Planned
Washington D.C. Update
Georgia Public Safety Radio Systems Must Transition to Narrowbanding
Fulton County Public Works Recognized with APWA Accreditation
Extension News: Teens Solving Community Problems
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - January/February 2012