Kent Levy Court to decide on new health insurance plans

DOVER — Kent Levy Court will make a final decision on two new health insurance plans for county employees during its business meeting on April 12.

Last month, the two plans were introduced in an effort to slow rising health care costs.

The option designated high plan will increase an employee’s monthly contribution to $60.

An employee selecting the other choice, called the low plan option, would maintain the current $30 per month contribution, but would have to pay some money out of pocket, said Allan Kujala, personnel director for the county.

Mr. Kujala said the county was seeking other alternatives to help reduce its health care costs.

William Strickland, the county’s broker, agreed that the two plans presented were the best options moving forward during Tuesday night’s meeting.

“I agree with that recommendation,” Mr. Strickland said. “What you put in front of the employees is a good thing and it prepares the county government and employees for what’s to come.”

Currently in the proposed budget, the county’s health insurance costs are projected to increase by 21 percent. The county uses Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware for its insurance. The county pays $2.6 million for health care, but if the current proposal stays in place it would be about $3.1 million.

“We have to be more engaged in the benefits that we select and we’re going to have to embrace in becoming better consumers on health care purchasing,” Mr. Strickland said.

Commissioner Eric Buckson agreed.

“One of the reasons I wanted him here was to get a better understanding of what’s going on,” Mr. Buckson said. “It’s a significant change to our employees that we all value.”

Medical marijuana facility?

The Kent County Economic Development Office received a letter of intent to lease the former Monster Racing property at 26 Starlifter Ave. in Dover to Compassionate Care Research Institute, Inc.

The New Jersey-based nonprofit corporation will produce and dispense marijuana to people who have prescriptions at the confined facility, said Jim Waddington, the city’s Economic Development Director during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Monster Racing, a company that provided driving experiences at Dover International Speedway, closed in October 2014. (Delaware State News/K.I. White)

Monster Racing, a company that provided driving experiences at Dover International Speedway, closed in October 2014. (Delaware State News/K.I. White)

Mr. Waddington said the potential move will only be leased for two years.

“Having a short-term lease is the appropriate approach,” Mr. Waddington said.

“We don’t want to tie it up with a long-term lease and talking with someone at the company, he indicated two years is probably the maximum amount of time they would want to be there.”

Levy Court will also vote on the matter during its meeting next week, but Commissioner Glen Howell said he will be voting against it.

“I’ve been against marijuana for so long and I know the fad is to use it for medical purposes, but I’m not comfortable with this at all,” Commissioner Howell said.

“I’m not going to go along with this. I’m not going to vote for it.”

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