Macon City Council appears ready to vote Tuesday on selecting insurance coverage for employees of the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government.
Bibb County commissioners are expected to vote the same day. It will take suspension of council rules, however, to bring the city to a final vote on the recommendation of the consolidation task force.
Council President James Timley indicated Wednesday that hes willing to hold that swift vote, and several other council members at an Employee Development & Compensation Committee meeting urged quick action.
I dont see a problem with expediting this particular process, Timley said.
Decisions are needed soon to make sure the roughly 2,000 local government employees are covered when the new government takes over Jan. 1, city Human Resources Director Ben Hubbard said.
We are hoping that this will be a smooth transition, he said.
Consultant Jimmy Hinson, employee benefits vice president for BB&T Insurance Services, gave council members substantially the same presentation the task force received a week ago. The unanimous choice of a joint city-county evaluation committee was to contract with Blue Cross/Blue Shield for basic insurance; The Hartford for group life insurance; Ameritas for dental coverage; The Standard for long-term disability; and Blue Cross/Blue Shield for vision coverage, Hinson said. He noted that council members Lauren Benedict and Tom Ellington, both present Wednesday, served on the evaluation committee.
Altogether, consultants project at least $1.2 million in annual savings from administration fees, stop-loss premiums and prescription rebates, compared with the amount the city and county pay out now, Hinson said. Many of those savings are guaranteed by contract.
In addition, Blue Cross/Blue Shield has pledged $100,000 annually for wellness programs and $40,000 to fund information sessions for employees in mid-October, he said.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.