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Motion to raise health, dental insurance for Webb Co. employees fails

A health and dental insurance increase for county employees by Webb County’s health care provider was proposed this week. However, the motion failed.

An increase is expected to be proposed again next year in July because there is not enough surplus at the moment. Rates will remain the same for seven months into the future.

In an item submitted by Samantha Sanchez, AETNA Health Insurance and AETNA Dental Insurance rates for Webb County employees from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023 would have had an increase of up to $13.37 with co-pays for medical visits with the primary care physician remains at $10 and specialists’ copayment remains at $20 as ordered by the court.

Dr. Pedro Alfaro, director of risk management, said during the meeting that rates are always looked at to stay the same or be less, but many provinces across the border have already experienced the increase.

“We have always been very concerned about the costs and the provincial contributions,” he said. “This year, due to our careful management and handling, we will see an increase.”

The purpose of the proposed motion was to provide a balanced health care plan for Webb County employees and their dependents to have access to affordable health care.

Also, by increasing rates, more dental benefits will be implemented, such as services such as braces, crowns and more treatments.

As membership of the employees’ insurance plan saw an increase from 856 members in 2018 to 2,317 as of May, the idea was to increase coverage benefits and provide the plan for spouses and relatives to increase enrollment. However, the plan employee and their spouse and children would have had a cost of $211.88 for health care and $22.41 for dental insurance per pay period, up $13.37 and $2.75, respectively, from before.

A factor in the proposed increase was to have more hours open at the clinic, as it was only open for four hours over three days a week. Rather, it seemed to be open on a full-time basis.

karol.garcia@lmtonline.com

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