Friday November 27th, 2015 8:48AM

White County commissioners get update on Obamacare

By Dean Dyer WRWH Radio
CLEVELAND - White County commissioners and county employees will have some tough decisions as a result of the so called Obamacare legislation.

At Monday's commission work session, the board heard a report about the requirements the healthcare reforms will bring.

Matt Bidwell with MSI Benefits Group, the insurance broker that provides county employee benefits, told commissioners that they will see an increase in coverage cost. He also said there are several mandated aspects of the healthcare plan that will cost the county an extra $70,000.

White County Commission Chairman Travis Turner, commenting after the work session, said it's something he's not looking forward to dealing with.

"These are items that unfortunately are going to be passed on to either our employees as a result of possibly higher premiums or (we) don't want to, (but) some counties may have to raise property taxes to cover these additional fees, that Obamacare is being forced on us," Turner said.

If the county or employees don't comply with the mandates they will face penalties.


White County Sheriff Neal Walden said he wants to try a new program that refurbishes old patrol cars. Walden shared the idea with the commission Monday.

The sheriff said he has a couple of vehicles that have over 170,000 miles on them. He said they can be completely refurbished for $12,000 to $15,000 per vehicle. It compares to $32,000 for a fully equipped new car.

Walden said Green Ford in Gainesville is among participating Ford dealerships. He said he wants to try a couple of vehicles and evaluate the program. Commissioners agreed it was worth a trial.

Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch last month announced he was exploring the idea as well.
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