Tuesday, January 14, 2003

1:30 p.m.

Goodson Room, Public Works

APPROVED 10/14/03


Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Rob Rockstroh, Doug Harcleroad, Paul White, Lisa Smith, David Suchart, Bill Van Vactor, Bobby Green, Sr., Bill Dwyer, Tom Lininger, Anna Morrison and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer, present.




Karen Artiaco gave a presentation on Lane County Benefits. (Copy in file.) Artiaco reported Lane County benefits have not changed in 30 years. She noted Lane County works with Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield as well as Pacific Source.


Artiaco explained that in the beginning of the year Pacific Source and Blue Cross look at Lane County’s utilization, and the services employees had been using, then compute a premium. She commented Lane County pays 85% of that amount on a monthly basis. She said they assess an 11% management fee on top of that. She noted if that number is less than the 85%, Lane County gets money back, which happened occasionally.


Artiaco stated that Multnomah County had changed their insurance plan.


Cathy O’ Brien, Human Resources Operations Manager, Multnomah County, gave a presentation on Multnomah County’s insurance plan.


O’ Brien stated that Lane County needed to make a value statement regarding the benefit program. She said it allows for recruiting qualified employees and to be competitive. She added that self-insurance gives the opportunity to manage the plan as much as possible. She noted that if benefits change, Lane County wouldn’t be stuck with a company telling them what to pay. She commented that the goal is to have healthy employees and a plan that is efficient.


O’Brien suggested Lane County hire a consultant to determine the reserve and the utilization of self-insurance. She said Lane County should start with what they want accomplished. She suggested employees become empowered consumers.

O’ Brien stated Multnomah County’s cost sharing formula is CPIW each year, with the split of the increase. She added if the benefits increase or readjust for the cost sharing techniques, the costs are flat. She stated they charge the same rates for retirees as they do for active employees.


Morrison asked about the transition for training. She thought it could be confusing and complicated.


O’Brien stated it takes commitment, a strong committee and training. She thought Lane County could change its plan within a year.


Van Vactor asked how Multnomah County reached an agreement with their collective bargaining units during the first year.


O’Brien responded they started with $32 million and added $500,000 to work out a deal. She reported that in the first year they saved $4 million dollars.


Van Vactor asked what the cost per-employee per-month was for Multnomah County’s insurance compared to Lane County.


Artiaco responded that Multnomah County pays $605 per employee a month for insurance and Lane County pays $625 per employee.


O’Brien commented people need to be committed to the process. She added Lane County’s position would need to be clearly articulated with the issues worked out. She said setting and supporting values is important in deciding which route.


Van Vactor requested a copy of the values from Multnomah County.


Sorenson asked what the next step would be if Lane County were to pursue this.


O’Brien responded she would hire a project manager consultant to help through this process.


Van Vactor noted there were two questions: Does Lane County want to support self-insurance; and should they explore modifying the employee benefits committee. He added they have to meet with the collecting bargaining units to determine whether self-insurance is appropriate.




December 3, 2002, Leadership Team Meeting, 9:00 a.m.


These minutes were approved at the January 21, 2003 meeting.


There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 3:25 p.m.


Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary