Bibb County employees could soon see changes made to their health insurance plans. This comes after Blue Cross Blue Shield said Bibb County's insurance costs will be $2 million higher this year than in 2016.
Bibb Commissioner Gary Bechtel says he had to change medicines in the past.
“I didn't want to change because I had been accustomed to using the other medication,” says Bechtel.
Bechtel says Blue Cross Blue Shield asked him to switch the medicine he takes for his diabetes, but he says the medicine ended up working better and saving money on insurance.
Now Blue Cross Blue Shield is recommending all county employees do the same.
“They're just looking for more, better low-cost options that are available other than these specialty drugs,” says Bechtel.
Jimmy Hinson, a BB&T consultant, made four recommendations to the county due to insurance costs rising. One is charging a $200 copay for specialty drugs.
Hinson says it would bring in about $569,000 in 2018.
“Increasing that copay, it does impact behavior and all we're trying to do is redirect them to a less costly treatment option. We're not trying to penalize them as much as get them going to a less costly option,” says Hinson.
Commissioner Elaine Lucas is one of three commissioners who voted in favor of amending the resolution and removing the $200 copay.
“I think we need to give people a little more opportunity to get their act together before we slap them with this,” says Lucas.
Commissioners approved the amended resolution which still includes changes such as paying more for emergency room visits and lowering the copay for their online doctor service.
Bechtel says he still thinks there should be a copay for specialty drugs.
“The only way to change behavior, is to hit people in the pocket book,” says Bechtel.
This change still needs approval by a majority of commissioners at Tuesday's meeting.