By: Bonnie Davis Guy
Mayor Larry Potter addressed the commissioners at the beginning of the September county commissioners meeting regarding the election of the chairman and vice chairman for the next fiscal year. Current chairman, Mike Taylor, was quickly nominated and a second made as was unanimous approval from the commissioners. Similarly current vice chairman, Rick Snyder, was also nominated and unanimously approved. Perry Stout was tabbed to once again serve as county attorney.
Next on the agenda was the approval of four county notaries including Cornett, Cunningham, Morris, and Rohrbaugh. Budget amendments approvals had been discussed at length prior to the commission meeting at a budget session. Amounts for the airport maintenance, construction program and a community development block grant were included in the budget, as well as adjustments for the highway department to slightly increase their portion of the wheel tax allotment. Additionally, the Doe Mountain Recreational Area trails program grant was received and will be administered by the county over the next two years. A motion was made to approve these amendments and approval was unanimous.
The State of Tennessee will be offering all state employees a fourth option for insurance coverage in the upcoming year. This option is a consumer driven health plan and will offer lower premiums but there will be higher deductibles, higher out of pocket maximums, and a health savings account option. The commissioners were advised this option should be carefully by the employees. This particular plan actually pays nothing until the employees deductible has been completely satisfied. The deductible is on average $1,500 per year. Once the deductible is met, the employees share will be 30 percent with insurance paying 70 percent. A health savings account comes into play to assist with meeting deductibles and expenses. Both pre-tax and taxed money can be used for this account. Unlike some health savings account, this particular plan allows for money unused at the end of the year to roll over to the next year. Additional changes in benefits for state employees affects the retiree health insurance policy. Prior to July 1, 2015, a plan was in place allowing employees retiring with 25 years or more service to receive the same insurance rate as other employees until they reach age 65 and are eligible for Medicare. The state will no longer honor this policy for anyone hired after July 1, 2015.
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