Future Gibson County Retirees Not On County Insurance

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A resolution passed unanimously by the Gibson County Commission Monday will now prevent future county retirees from staying on the county’s health insurance plan. Officials said they are making the change to save the county money. 143 county employees outside of the highway department are on the county’s health insurance plan, but if they decide to retire before age 65, that money now goes away. “It was discussed that it could be a problem with us being involved with a self-insurance plan about people actually that are employees that retire before the age of 65,” said Commissioner Bobby Cotham, who is the chairman of the insurance committee. “So it could be a burden on the taxpayers for the claims that were issued to them.” Insurance committee members said an auditor told them they should make the change, so they recommended it to the commission. “When they become 65 then they would actually roll off of the county’s insurance and then they would pick up another provider, or use whatever else they would,” Cotham said. Officials said the change will not affect active employees who are 65 or older right now. Those three county employees who retired before 65 will not be impacted either. Mayor Tom Witherspoon said the change makes financial sense. “I think it’s important that as a county that we reflect as closely as possible the same benefits and packages that are available to the people providing us with the tax revenue that we run the county on,” Witherspoon said. Commissioners said the county offers three different plans to active employees right now. They said it costs the county about $400 a month to cover each active employee.

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