Decatur County agrees to money-saving healthcare plan with city, Memorial Hospital

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a proposed healthcare cooperative between the county, the City of Bainbridge and Memorial Hospital and Manor Tuesday that will save a proposed $176,838 for the county in its first year.

Forsyth Insurance, chosen after a bid process earlier this year, presented the benefits of combining the three entities under a single insurance plan.

“The idea is to consolidate with one plan, have fewer administrators having to work with that plan, and have more people on the plan, which gives you better access to reinsurance costs and also administrative costs,” said Scott Forsyth of Forsyth Insurance.

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Among the major goals during the construction of the plan was driving more people to Memorial Hospital and Manor, which will be offering a discount for healthcare services to those on the cooperative plan. Encouraging the local use of the hospital will drive claims costs down, Forsyth said.

The discount incentive will also bring money back to the hospital that might be spent at other hospitals in the area. Employees on the intergovernmental plan have the option to use other hospitals, if they choose. However, if Memorial Hospital performs a service, then employees will pay a higher out of pocket cost for those same services at other hospitals.

There will be no change in cost per pay period for employees, who will continue to pay $30 per month for employee only coverage.

The proposal also included a switch from First Health PPO to Blue Cross Blue Shield, which will lower claims costs by an average of six to eight percent through better discounts under Blue Cross Blue Shield, Forsyth said.

The City of Bainbridge and Memorial Hospital and Manor will recommend the cooperative plan to their respective entities at their next meetings.