September 04, 2013 | 11:07 AM
The Harrison County Board of Commissioners yesterday morning (Tuesday) voted to eliminate health insurance for part-time elected officials.
"We should not be able to get insurance if part-time employees can't," Commissioner Chair Kenny Saulman said.
Part-time elected officials include the three commissioners, seven councilmembers, coroner and surveyor.
Any current part-time elected official with insurance can keep it until their term ends. Any newly-elected or re-elected official will not have insurance provided by the county, although he or she will be offered the same plan but would have to pay 100 percent of the cost. Regular part-time employees will not get that option.
"That's something that has always stuck in my craw," first-term Commissioner George Ethridge said. "Why should a part-time politician be afforded that luxury?"
Ethridge said he'd be pleased to make the motion to do away with the insurance. The motion passed unanimously.
The board also agreed on a health insurance plan for next year for the county, switching to Humana at a decreased cost of 6 percent. The two-year plan guarantees no increase if the loss ratio stays under 80 percent (the ratio was 67-68 percent this year) and another 6 percent decrease if 60 percent or more of employees participate in the wellness program.
The only difference in the plan from the previous one is there is no cost share on a routine preventative care visit as opposed to a $25 cost with the current plan.
"Awesome, I like that," Ethridge said of the plan presented by Mark Hamilton of Neace Lukens. "That's the easiest decision I can make."
Ethridge made the motion, which was also unanimously approved, to go with Humana's total health plan.
In other business, the board moved to send a request of more than $32,000 for a one-year trial program for GPS tracking units on county vehicles conducted by GIS company 39 Degrees North.
"We'll see if we can get the benefits they said we would," Ethridge said.
The system is in place in Floyd County, among others. Its main purpose is to find the most efficient way to operate the departments and for safety reasons if a vehicle breaks down or is involved in a crash.
The program will be used on county highway vehicles and, if successful, could be used in the sheriff's department.
Ethridge said the system will act as a theft deterrent as well for vehicles such as mowers that are left out overnight on a job site.
The board's next meeting will be Monday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.