Update from Your President & Other News

 
REMINDER:
Get your Health Incentive for 2021!
Health incentive points are due by 10/31/2020, do it today!
 
Hennepin County Board Meeting Notes 9/10/2020 - Budget Proposals

 

This meeting brought forth County Administrator David Hough’s budget proposals that he will present to the board starting next week as well as the current budget climate and issues.

 

Managing 2020 Budget

Hiring Freeze

Contract and spending management

Encouraged use of SLWOP -saved $2.5 million in 2020

CARES Funding

 

2021 Outlook

Hennepin County still has their 2021 AAA Credit Rating

Good position because of CARES Funding

 

CARES ACT FUNDING

$220 million needs to be used by December 30, 2020.

Approximately $183 million committed to spend

Approximately $38 million uncommitted.

 

2021 Proposed Budget

 

Reduction of 150 full time staff equivalents

Workforce-no increase in health insurance premiums

 

Mr. Hough is seeking layoff authority from the Commissioners. Will ask for this at the budget meeting next week.

 

Footprint

Cancellation of leases

Reduced capital improvements programs

 

Budget Considerations

$12 million contingency budget

Significant use of fund balance.

 

Not in 2021 Budget

$35-40 million isolation and quarantine shelters

$5-10 million vaccination distribution

$3 million COVID testing and tracing

CARES Initiatives

 

**If there are no additional funds for COVID, the county will need to solve the approximate $40 million budget deficit for next year.***

 

Housing

Looking at options for isolation and quarantine shelters for long term housing so that on January 1, if there are no additional funds, the county can continue to pay for housing in this area past that date.

 

Option: Purchase apartment building or the like.  There would still be a budget shortfall in this area though.

 

Tools to Manage Unbudgeted Expenses

Expense reduction—staffing/contracts

Health Insurance Premium Holiday-supported by Commissioner Opat-3rd quarter of next year is the proposal.

Mandatory SLWOP—16 to 20 hours (saves $4 million)—spread out over 26 pay periods.  May be changes to vacation cash out.

FEMA or other federal/state grants

Additional use of fund balances

 

*David Hough will not recommend buyouts for employees as it does not save a significant amount of money.

 

Homeowner impact example—0% property tax increase.  This means that in Minneapolis for example (medium value home $265,000 in 2020, $271,500 in 2021) net tax decrease of $7.2% and in the suburbs (medium value home $312,000 in 2020, $322,000 in 2021) 6.3% net tax decrease.  This could be different for a higher or lower value home even at a 0% increase because other entities may add a percentage for a tax increase.  Something to be mindful of.  Different jurisdictions, different taxes.

 

Committee budget meetings next week.

Administrator amendments presented soon as well.

 

Hennepin County Board Meeting Notes 9/1/2020 - Health Care

 

The board approved the consensus recommendations from the Labor Management/Health Care Committee today at the Board Meeting. 

 

The Board Action Request Language is as follows:

 

Board Action Request
20-0348

 

Item Description:
Establish 2021 premium rates for self-insured health care program applicable to employees and retirees and their dependents; and coverage terms for 2021 to include items agreed upon as part of the labor management consensus process; and authorize the one-time use of $4.3 million in program reserves for funding employee flexible spending accounts for the purpose of defraying out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred during 2021

 

Resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners hereby establish the 2021 health care program premiums for each plan; health care program coverage changes effective January 1, 2021; and funding of flexible spending account in 2021 for active employees covered by the health care program.

 

Background:

Health Care Program Premiums Determination Process

  • Premiums vary by plan and number/family relationship of covered persons;

  • Are actuarially determined by use of historical and current claims information, population risk factors and expected medical inflation;

  • Are highest for the Standard Plan that provides the broadest choice of providers but without the value-based care received from an Accountable Care Organization (i.e. the 3 Advantage Plans).

The results of the rate setting process are to keep premiums for each plan unchanged from 2020 to 2021 (this includes the projected impact of the health care plan coverage changes described below).

Health Care Plan Changes effective January 1, 2021:

All plan coverage terms to be amended as follows:

  • generic drug co-pay of $20 per prescription (2020: $25)

  • 20% co-insurance on X-Ray/MRI procedures (2020: 25%)

  • out of pocket maximum $3000 individual coverage, $5000 family coverage (2020: $3500 / $5500)

  • office visit copay of $35 per visit ($20 with incentive) (2020: $40/$25)

  • urgent care copay of $50 per visit ($35 with incentive) (2020: $55/$40)

  • new virtual care office copay of $30 per session ($15 with incentive)

The above plan changes represent the consensus agreement of the Labor Management Health Care Committee.

Livongo - new program to be offered to all benefit-earning county employees and their dependents beginning January 1, 2021 – On average, members with unmanaged diabetes have medical claims six times higher than members without diabetes. Currently over 6% of the members covered by the county’s health plan are diabetic. Livongo offers diabetic members assistance in managing their condition. This opt-in program gives members a free glucose monitor with real time feedback, unlimited free test strips, personalized reports and 24/7 support and emergency outreach, providing them with the tools and support they need to stay healthy and avoid unnecessary and expensive hospital stays and complications.. The expected ROI of the program is 3.4:1.

 

Health Care Plan Participation:
Approximately 75.5% of employees are currently enrolled in one of the three Advantage plans:

  • 33.8% are enrolled in Advantage HealthPartners/Park Nicollet;

  • 25.2% are enrolled in Advantage M Health Fairview/North Memorial;

  • 16.5% are enrolled in Advantage Hennepin Healthcare/ NorthPoint.

Approximately 24.5% of employees are currently enrolled in the Standard plan.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – Health Care Expense Account
Employees are currently eligible to contribute to a Flexible Spending Account with health care, dependent care, adoption assistance and pre-tax parking sub-accounts. This item introduces a one-time contribution of $4.3 million by the county from the health plan reserves to employees' health care expense accounts.

 

  • County contribution of $400 for employees with individual health care plan coverage and $700 for employees with family coverage

  • Contribution to be used, at employee discretion, for reimbursement of deductible medical, dental and visions expenses (e.g. deductible, copays and coinsurance)

  • County contribution is not taxable income to employee and may be carried over (subject to a $500 limit) for use the following year

  • Employees may also make before-tax contributions to the Health Care Expense Account, subject to a combined limit (employee and employer) of $2,750 for 2020, as indexed

  • For employees with family coverage, the county contribution will be split: $500 in 2021 and $200 in 2022, due to IRS limit of $500 for unconditional employer contributions

  • County contribution is one-time action intended to:

    1. provide assistance to ensure employees and their dependents seek health care as needed during a period of extraordinary financial strife and stress; and

    2. advance employee understanding of effective use of Health Care Expense Accounts to pre-fund expected out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision expenses with before-tax dollars, increasing their spending power and adding to financial security.

 

Thank you all to those who served on the LMHCC and participated in the Consensus Process. This was a really good deal for us this year—reducing copays and putting money into a flexible spending account for all of those who participate in HC health insurance---as a means to supplement health insurance costs.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Commissioners Opat and Fernando as well as David Hough and Kathy McGerry recognized the union partners for their work on this process. 

Hennepin County Board Meeting Notes 8/11/2020 

Recognizing Juneteenth as a County Holiday.... Board Action Request 20-0267 R1 passed.....Juneteenth will now be considered as a floating holiday

Again, thank you to all who called your Commissioners in support of this, Vote 4-3

Board Action Request 20-0290

Funding approved to allocate 410k of CARES Act money to provide residents at the PSF, City Hall and the ACF telephone visits and video visitation as they have ceased in person visitation. This is a way to reduce barriers in connecting with loved ones.

NTE $943,635

...

Residents will receive three (3) free (up to 20 minutes) phone calls per week from August 17, 2020 until December 31, 2020 or the completed installation of the video visitation system at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Public Safety Facility and City Hall, whichever is later.

•HCSO and DOCCR will pay 4.5 cents per minute for the 3 free phone calls.

•After December 31, 2020 or the completed installation of the video visitation system at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Public Safety Facility and City Hall, whichever is later, the cost of a phone call for a resident is 14.0 cents per minute.

•DOCCR’s 2021 budget requests funding to cover the cost of 2 phone calls for residents at the ACF.

Additionally, this Amendment adds video visitation services at Hennepin County Sheriff’s Public Safety Facility and City Hall. In response to COVID-19, other emergency operations and 22,000 social visits annually at the Public Safety Facility (PSF) it became apparent how critical video visitation is at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Public Safety Facility and City Hall.

 

Securus will provide the hardware, software and maintenance to support 47 video visitation units, that are mounted to the walls within the housing areas within the PSF, and three mobile units for the inmates to use. Friends and family members can use an application on their smart phone or their personal computer to conduct a video visitation session with the inmate. HCSO is evaluating the demand and cost of adding up to 13 units on-site for friends/family use.

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Hennepin County Parole and Probation Officers
PO Box 15686, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
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