- Associated Press - Sunday, December 14, 2014

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) - Porter County officials are scrambling to find $3 million to pay health insurance bills after the county council failed to set aside enough money to cover costs this year.

County Commissioner Laura Blaney told The Times in Munster (https://bit.ly/1vEE5iU ) that the county may have to take as much as $2.9 million from the interest generated by proceeds from the 2007 sale of the county hospital.

“I hate to use that money, but I don’t know what else to do,” Blaney said.

The council has already asked department heads to surrender any funds they don’t expect to use by the end of the year. That brought in about $144,000.

The council will meet Monday to discuss other solutions to fund the insurance coverage for county employees and elected officials.



Even if the council covers this year’s costs, the issue could resurface next year. The council set aside $9 million for 2015 but recently rejected an attempt by the commissioners to reduce the cost by offering only high-deductible coverage and increasing the monthly contributions.

Councilman Jim Biggs and others on the council want to see the commissioners pursue the services of Apex Benefits Group of Indianapolis, which claims the county can maintain its current level of benefits and costs within the budgeted $9 million.

“If this isn’t straightened out in the next 30 days, there is zero chance we will meet that $9 million target,” Biggs said.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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