Hamilton County Commission delays vote on employee health insurance

Hamilton County Commission delays vote on employee health insurance

May 18th, 2011 by Dan Whisenhunt in Local - Breaking News

In this file photo, Hamilton County Commissioner Larry Henry participates in a county commission meeting at the courthouse.

Hamilton County commissioners delayed a vote today to switch the county's insurance administrator from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee to Cigna.

The move came after BlueCross officials told commissioners they had filed a protest of the recommendation to award the contract to Cigna.

Cigna says it can save the county $1 million in a budget year in which the county is looking for savings everywhere.

Tony Pepper, business segment director of major accounts at BlueCross, told commissioners there were several things in Cigna's proposal the commission is not factoring into a decision.

"BlueCross BlueShield is afraid that we're going lose your business," Pepper told commissioners. "Your employees are afraid. Being afraid is not healthy."

A group of county employees showed up at the meeting, groaning and shaking their heads as a county benefits consultant explained the advantages of switching to Cigna.

BlueCross has held the contract to administer the county's insurance since commissioners switched from Cigna in 2003.

Commissioners, who are covered by the county's insurance, have said they were wary of the switch.

Commissioners will consider the proposal again on May 26.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.