Rockingham County Raising Health Insurance Premiums

Total Annual Health Care Cost For Locality Rising To $23.3 Million

Posted: July 14, 2014

HARRISONBURG — Employees of Rockingham County will see their health insurance premiums rise beginning in October.

Using data from the most recent claim year, the county’s health insurance provider Anthem projected a total health care cost for the period from Oct. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015, at $23.3 million.

The projected costs include nearly $212,000 in fees as required by the Affordable Care Act, according to a presentation from Anthem to the county. These costs come from two temporary, federal fees: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or PCORI, fee, and the Transitional Reinsurance fee.

The Transitional Reinsurance fee will cost the county $63 per covered person, according to Riddlebarger, county director of human resources. The fee, which will decrease over the next two years before expiring, designed to offset the costs of newly enrolled individuals in health insurance programs.

Many of the previously uninsured are likely to have higher health care costs, and their own premiums will not cover those expenses, said Stephen Riddlebarger, county director of human resources. The fee is designed to prevent any “adverse impact” to insurance companies due to the large number of new enrollees.

PCORI fees cost $2 per covered person and go to fund medical research.

All employers must pay these two fees to the federal government.

The overall increase for county employees, incuding those who work for Rockingham County Public Schools, comes to 6.93 percent. To offset this, Riddlebarger recommended increasing health insurance premiums by that same amount above the current rates.

This increase will apply to the total monthly premium, which comes from a combination of employee and employer funds.

The type of coverage an employee chooses will determine the amount by which their individual contribution will change.

For county employees covering their family, this means they will pay $20.72 more a month for health insurance.

No changes were made to the benefits structure for county employees for the coming fiscal year.

According to Riddlebarger, dental insurance provider United Concordia could have increased dental insurance premiums for county employees by 6.5 percent this year.

However, county staff was able to negotiate with United Concordia to keep dental insurance rates at their current levels.

County employees pay the full cost of dental premiums.

The county Board of Supervisors approved the new health and dental insurance plans at its Wednesday meeting.

Contact Bryan Gilkerson at 574-6267 or

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