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After years of cuts in benefits, county staff gets ambulance plan

Jan 4, 2018 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

Fremont County commissioners are planning to buy comprehensive ambulance insurance for all county employees through Medical Transport Solutions.

Gary Robson, a sales manager for MTS, said the county should be able to cover all employees for a little more than $25,000 each year.

Robson said the coverage would cover both ground and ambulance services for all three ambulance companies that serve the county.

Zero out of pocket

He said the insurance would prevent employees from being "balance-billed" for life-flights that typically cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Employees should have no out-of-pocket expenses for any emergent transport under the proposed coverage plan.

All four commissioners present at Tuesday's county board meeting expressed interest in purchasing the coverage.

"I can see a tremendous benefit for our employees," chairman Travis Becker said.

Funding

Jim Anderson, an accountant for the county's treasurer department, said the county can use its health fund to pay for the new program this year and could consider adding the costs into employees' premiums in future years.

Robson said he needs a commitment from the county by Feb. 1 before prices change. Commissioners plan to review the details in coming weeks before making a final determination.

The addition of the program would be a small gain for county employees, who have faced several years of salary freezes while seeing take-home pay reduced after being forced to pay more into their retirement accounts.

"We're (now) adding a benefit to our employees at no cost to the employee," Becker said. "To me, that's huge."

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