Lumpkin County employees get new insurance plan


DAHLONEGA, Ga. — In a called meeting Monday, the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to replace Humana as the county’s healthcare provider with United Healthcare.

Gainesville-based Turner, Wood and Smith (TWS), an independent insurance broker, conducted a review for the county to identify the best, most cost effective healthcare provider. Company vice president Brett Fowler presented his findings to the board.

“After looking at a number of cares and going back and forth on them, we believe the best option is to change to United Healthcare,” Fowler said. “Not only do they offer the best price option, they are also able to deliver a wellness option.”

To continue its coverage with Humana, the county was looking at an increased cost of approximately 19.8 percent, or $364,000.

TWS will serve as the employee benefits consultant for Lumpkin County. The change allows the county to move from a broker model to a consultant model. TWS will be compensated on a fee basis rather than a commission basis and will not benefit from large increases in the medical plan.

The new plan will take effect July 1. The cost to county employees will remain the same until Jan. 1. Even then, Commission Chairman Chris Dockery said, there would be no change in premium for 85 county employees under the new plan. However, the cost for other employees who include a spouse on their coverage will increase by $35 per pay period. The cost for employee plus children will increase by $25 per pay period.

The increase in dental coverage with Humana would have been 5.02 percent. Lincoln Financial will now provide coverage at an increased cost of 1.3 percent. The new plan will be enhanced with the addition of orthodontia coverage and a two-year rate guarantee.

The increase in vision coverage with Humana would have been 5.89 percent. Under the new plan, VSP will provide vision coverage at no increased cost and a locked-in rate for four years.

The United Healthcare program allows wellness program participants on a Health Savings Account to earn $1,095 and those on Health Reimbursement Arrangement to earn $1,260 per year.


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