The Montgomery County Council, taking note that the reserves in the County’s health insurance fund are well above target, today approved a lowering of health insurance premiums that will save County taxpayers $3.2 million in fiscal year 2001 and individual County employees up to $126.
By skipping two unnecessary bi-weekly payments to the health insurance fund, the County will save $3.2 million next year. An individual County employee enrolled in the "point-of-service" family medical and dental plan will save nearly $126. Retired employees also will see savings in their monthly premiums.
"There’s no reason why the County or its employees should be paying more in health premiums than is necessary," said Councilmember Phil Andrews, Lead Councilmember for personnel issues.
"Our prudent fiscal management makes it possible for us to save money for the taxpayers and let our County employees keep more of their own money."
The Council action won the support of the Montgomery County Retired Employees Association.
"For retirees who must pay 100 percent of their health insurance premium, this could mean several hundred additional dollars," said association president Margaret J. Knill. "Some of the surplus should be returned to contributors – active employees, retired employees, and taxpayers."
The County Executive opposed the premium holidays. Last year, the County Executive proposed one "holiday," which the Council increased to two. The year before, the County Council, over the opposition of the County Executive, approved two "holidays" from premiums because of the large reserves in the health insurance fund.