County insurance rates protested

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Some local firefighters say they're getting burned by steep health insurance rates they pay on a bi-weekly basis.

Currently, Franklin County employees on the county's health insurance plan pay $400 a month - about $200 per paycheck - for family coverage. That's too much for the firefighters whose beginning salary is just over $20,000 annually, said Richard Conway, a local firefighter.

But county officials say insurance rates have been the same for the past two years. Franklin County Judge-Executive Teresa Barton said rates are calculated based on the claims submitted, and while insurance doesn't come cheap, the county's prices are on par with other rates.

"Well, they're fair when you look at other government agencies," said Barton. "Affordable? No."

Barton said ideally the county would like to offer 100 percent coverage for all employees, but that isn't financially feasible.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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