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Hubbard County switches health care provider

The Hubbard County Board, upon the recommendation of a benefits committee, switched its group health insurance from Prime Health to Medica. Note: This article has been updated with a correction. Prime West will continue as a regional health care provider. Hubbard County only cancelled their contract with Prime Health as an insurance provider.

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Hubbard County Government Center
Park Rapids Enterprise file photo, March 2020
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The Hubbard County Board, upon the recommendation of a benefits committee, switched its group health insurance from Prime Health to Medica.

County Human Resources Director Gina Teems reported on Tuesday that National Insurance Services solicited proposals. Blue Cross, Northwest Service Cooperative and Medica provided bids “that provide significant savings against current health insurance premiums,” Teems said.

In July, county commissioners canceled its contract with Prime Health, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Prime Health is a county-based, self-insurance program.

Teems reported that Blue Cross offered a 2023 premium of $2,596,923, with a second year cap not to exceed 15%.

Northwest Service Cooperative offered $2,566,639, with no second year cap, while Medica proposed a premium of $2,456,571, with a second year cap not to exceed 11.5%.

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County commissioner Dan Stacey said, “I hope we’re not making a mistake.”

County commissioner Char Christenson, who sits on the Prime Health Board, said the Medica numbers are “really good” and she was told “there’s no way Prime Health” could have matched them.

The board unanimously approved the Medica proposal, effective Jan. 1, 2023, and including a second-year renewal.

In other business, the county social services department signed a community support services contract with Parenting Solutions. Joe Johnson, previously of The FATHER Project, formed the new company.

County Social Services Director Brian Ophus said Johnson has similar contracts with Becker, Beltrami and Cass counties.

According to the contract, Parenting Solutions will be reimbursed the following rates for services furnished to eligible recipients:

  • $27,900 salary plus fringe, based on one 10-hour day per week times 52 weeks.
  • $742 mileage (80 miles per week times 16 weeks at .58 per mile).

Ophus said funding will come directly from the Minnesota Family Investment Program consolidated fund, which is 100% federal and state grant money.
“He’ll be working with the same individuals that are working through MFIP, trying to get them jobs as well and doing a lot of the different things he was doing, but just under contract,” Ophus said. “He’s doing some really good work.”

Christenson said, “This is a really good use of government funds because he has a proven track record that he’s making a difference in people’s lives. I’m thrilled that he found a solution.”

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The motion passed unanimously.

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Related Topics: HUBBARD COUNTY BOARD
Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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