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Published: Wednesday, 1/12/2011

Lucas County passes shift in workers' health benefits

Lucas County Commissioners Tuesday approved changes to its employee health-benefits plan that will affect all county employees and are expected to save the county $3.1 million over two years.

The changes shift more co-pay costs to employees and tightens eligibility rules for certain types of prescriptions and procedures. Commission President Pete Gerken said that all 28 bargaining units in county government voted in favor of the new arrangement, which begins in March. There are about 3,400 county employees enrolled in the plan, not including family members.

Mr. Gerken said employees have multiple health-care-plan options to chose from with different co-pay arrangements.

"It gives employees who haven't had raises for three years at least some choice when it comes to health care," he said.

The new overall plan will help the county deal with rising health-care costs, Mr. Gerken said.

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