Delaware County employees will pay a little more for health insurance next year.
Employees’ share of their health care premiums will rise to 9.3 percent next year, up from 7.5 percent currently.
The change is due to an overall increase of 9.3 percent for health insurance the county will purchase through a cooperative program.
“Health insurance premiums are increasing across the United States,” said Dawn Huston, the county’s assistant administrator.
This year, the county budgeted $14.1 million for employee benefits, including health insurance coverage.
“This is a significant expense for the county,” said Commissioner Jeff Benton.
Huston said the county plans to work with employees to slow the rise of health care costs, through several means, including encouraging them to take advantage of wellness and preventative care coverage.
“We would like to encourage our employees to be good consumers of their health care,” she said.
County officials attributed the rise in health care costs to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“A lot of this is out of our hands,” said Commissioner Gary Merrell.
The county once again purchased health insurance through County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio, a cooperative purchasing program set up by the County Commissioners’ Association of Ohio.
The group was formed in 2004 with seven counties participating, including Delaware County. The group has since grown to include 33 counties.
“Once a county has joined CEBCO, it has never left,” said Huston. “It has really become a great way for us as a county to purchase health insurance benefits for our employees and their dependents at very reasonable costs.”