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City looks to trim health costs

A Toledo City Council committee voted yesterday to recommend new health and dental contracts for city employees, replacing a firm that has had the contracts since 1993.

The package proposed by the city's health care cost containment committee would hire three firms and potentially save $135,000 in the first year, committee representatives told council's human resources committee. The recommended contractors are:

●Central Benefits, a national firm with offices in Columbus, as the third-party administrator, for $491,498 the first year and $486,498 in each of the next two years.

●Delta Dental, to administer dental benefits, at a cost of $95,304 in the first year, $100,069 in the second year, and $105,085 in the third year.

●Intermediary Insurance Services Inc., based in San Francisco, with Hylant Group Inc. of Toledo to provide "stop-loss" coverage for the city's self-insurance fund, for $84,770 for a year. The insurance is to cover total claims above $17.6 million. The city's "expected claims level" is about $14 million.

James King, the city's insurance consultant, said the new contracts would maintain city employees' existing coverage.

The health coverage previously was administered by EV Benefits Management Inc., now Meritain Health Inc. Mr. King said the city and its employees had become dissatisfied with EV's performance after it went through two successive ownership changes.

The contracts are to be voted on by council today.

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