By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their weekly meeting at the Courthouse Monday morning, October 10. All Commissioners and the County Clerk were present.
The biggest item on the agenda was the renewal of the County's health, dental, and prescription insurance policy for its employees. Jeremy McGuire of Blue Cross was on hand to present the numbers to the Commissioners for the 2023 policy year.
The policy offered to the Mitchell County employees has remained the same for many years. It is not offered in Blue Cross' portfolio of plans. Mitchell County was grandfathered into the plan years ago. It they drop the plan or change it; they can never get it back. The policy covers health costs, dental costs, and prescription drug costs.
Policy rates are based on two factors. One is the usage over the past year by policyholders. This makes up 40% of the numbers used to establish next year's premiums. The other factor is the "book of business." This is Blue Cross' expenditures spread out over all of Kansas. This spreads the costs over a larger number of policyholders.
Mitchell County has 89 contracts with Blue Cross. In the previous year Mitchell County had 11 claims in excess of $25,000. This year there were 16 claims in excess of $25,000. For Mitchell County, a large claim is one in excess of $210,000. This year Mitchell County had one such major claim.
The Blue Cross policy costs Mitchell County $1,777.770.12. The total cost for the 2023 plan will be $2,104,428.68. This is an increase of $325,658 which is a 17.1% increase. County Clerk Chris Treaster said they had budgeted for a 15% increase.
All the Commissioners agreed that the County employees view their health care coverage as a big plus to employment with Mitchell County. They voted unanimously to accept the policy as offered for 2023 with Blue Cross.
Eric Hamel was on hand to present his report for the ambulance service for the month of September. The ambulance service made 74 runs in September. Fifty-six were made to the City of Beloit. Nine runs were made to Cawker City and five to Glen Elder. Tipton and Hunter had two runs each.
The time period of 6 to 7 p.m. had the most runs with nine. The 8 to 9 a.m. period and the 5 to 6 p.m. period had seven runs each. Friday was the busiest day with 19 runs followed closely by Thursday with 18 runs.
The average time from when a call in received until an ambulance left the barn was 1.8 minutes. The age group of 80-89 years of age was the largest group with 16 runs. The 60-69 category had 15 runs followed by the 70-79 age group with 14 runs and the 50-59-year-olds with 14 runs.
Hamel told the Commissioners he was not receiving much action or interest in a part-time bookkeeper for the ambulance service. The Commissioners reviewed the job as a part-time job with about 20 hours per week with no benefits at an hourly rate of $15 per hour. Commissioner Jim Marshall expressed his doubts about attracting a qualified candidate for $15 per hour.
The Commissioners declared the month of October as Domestic Abuse Awareness month.
The Commissioners appointed Jim Johnson to another three-year term to the Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems Board of Trustees.
Emily Benedick gave the Commissioners and update of all the projects with which she is involved.
Having addressed all the items on the printed agenda the meeting was adjourned.


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Beloit, KS 67420, USA