Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017

Happy New (insurance) Year!

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Changes to employee health plans approved

Wilson County employees can expect some changes to their current health insurance plans effective Jan. 1, 2016. The Wilson County Commission voted Monday night to authorize the changes, with only District 6 Commissioner Kenny Reich voting no.

The employees will have to make a choice between Cigna under Local Plus Network or Open Access Plus Plan. The former plan is similar to what employees are offered already, but the latter plan would include two local hospital facilities at an increased premium and co-pay.

Under Local Plus, employees would pay no premiums for themselves, and dependent coverage would stay at the current premium. The co-pays would stay at 80/20, and St. Thomas and Sumner Regional hospitals would not be in the network.

The newly-offered Open Access Plus would cost employees $40 per month with dependent coverage at $230 per month. The co-pays would be 70/30, but St. Thomas and Sumner Regional hospitals would be in the network.

There will be no changes to either the employee clinic or the pharmacy card provisions of the insurance.

Vets Museum breaks ground

In other action at the commission meeting, County Mayor Robert Hutto announced the groundbreaking for the Veterans Museum beside the county courthouse.

The event will be held next Thursday, Oct. 29, starting at 10 a.m., with veterans available to talk with visitors and show them around the memorial. Then starting at 11:30 a.m., hot dogs and soft drinks will be available, with the actual groundbreaking at 1:30 p.m.

Wilson Emergency Management Agency Director Joey Cooper told the commission that a water rescue crew from WEMA had gone to South Carolina to help during the recent flooding there. "They were there from Oct. 8-11 and did three rescues, helping six people," he said.

Carolina rescuers keep busy

Cooper added that the team also did welfare checks on residents who had not been evacuated and helped distribute food, water, and clothing to people who needed those supplies. "In all, they were busy the entire time they were there," he said.

The commissioners also unanimously approved allowing the Wilson County Election Commission to share space at the old Lebanon High School.

The agreement would allow the election commission to store records and voting machines in the portions of the building which the Wilson County School Board doesn't need for central office or other school functions, most likely the two old gyms.

Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright told Hutto that she feels certain that the board would be willing to work with the county on this project.

Livestock pavilion, land for schools

The commission also approved funding for a new livestock pavilion at the Ward Ag Center, with only District 8 Commissioner Frank Bush voting no, and unanimously approved the salary for the newly hired Expo Center director.

Finally, the commission unanimously approved the school board's request to purchase five acres for $220,000 behind Tuckers Crossroads School and to pay down $134,000 in earnest money on three properties that the board wishes to purchase for new school buildings in western Wilson County.

Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at

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budget, employees, healthcare, insurance, Wilson County, Wilson County Commission
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