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Local Towns Consider “Self-Insured” To Save Money

Some Magic Valley towns are looking at ways to cut health care costs to employees.  One method under consideration is to become self-insured.  The Times News reports today that about 40 towns in Idaho are looking into such a plan including Hailey, Burley, Shoshone and Jerome.  Under such a plan the towns would become their own insurers with their employee health benefits becoming self-funded and the towns would manage the funds and claims.  In many cases this method is cheaper than paying for traditional insurance plans. The town of Shoshone experienced a 22 percent increase in health costs.  By becoming self-insured any increase could be as low as five percent.  As good as such a plan looks though, insurance professionals warn that towns that are using this type of plan may not have as big of a pool to get a lower discount and they may not have the funds to pay for high-cost claims.

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