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OFFSETTING COSTS Sarasota County staff is working on plans to mitigate a 15-percent increase in employee healthcare premiums. Photo from the National Cancer Institute via Wikimedia Commons IN AN EFFORT TO REDUCE A PROJECTED 15-PERCENT HIKE IN EMPLOYEE HEALTHCARE COSTS, THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WILL CONSIDER CHANGING THE COUNTY'S MEDICAL FUND RESERVE POLICY By Roger Drouin County Editor Current estimates forecast a 15-percent increase in Sarasota County employees' medical insurance premiums starting in January, but county officials are trying to alleviate the impact of such a hike. The county has already set aside an extra $1,000 per employee for health insurance for the upcoming year. In addition, county finance staff will present options to the County Commission in November for transferring money from the Medical Benefit "That is a lot for some employees," Steve Reserve Fund to reduce the employees' preBotelho, chief finanmium increases. cial planning officer with the county, told Insurance is a confusing thing. We The rising expense for the medical fund, The Sarasota News want our employees to be covered. an insurance proLeader. "We're tryJoe Barbetta gram self-funded by ing to see how we Commissioner the county, is largely Sarasota County can offset some of attributed to an those costs."

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