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Westmoreland County renegotiates insurance contracts to save $800K

| Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Renegotiated insurance contracts with UPMC and Highmark are expected to save Westmoreland County taxpayers more than $800,000 over the next three years.

Commissioners on Thursday approved new agreements with the insurance companies to provide health-care benefits for more than 1,800 government employees, their spouses and children.

The deals are expected to reduce administrative costs over the three years.

“We were able to take advantage of the rivalry between UPMC and Highmark,” said Commissioner Ted Kopas.

Commissioner Charles Anderson said the savings will be added to the county's general fund.

The deal won't affect employee's benefits or what they pay for health care. The negotiated decreases impact only administrative costs the county pays directly to the insurance companies.

The only change employees will see is the exclusion of Health America from the insurance program. For the last several years, employees have been able to select Health American, UPMC or Highmark for their insurance. About 150 employees chose Health America.

Next year, the county expects to pay about $22 million to insure employees and their dependents.

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