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DA County Considering Raising Employee Health Insurance Premiums

Correction: An earlier version of this story missstated Dona Ana County employee Michelle Blackwell how the possible health insurance hike would affect her. ABC-7 apologizes for the error.

Dona Ana County Commissioners will wait until mid-May to make a decision on a proposal to have county employees pick up more of the cost of health insurance premiums.

Commissioners said they need more time to research the proposal.

The county is considering raising employee medical insurance premiums by as much as 19%. The average employee would have to pay $55 more a month for family coverage, about $650 more a year.

Michelle Blackwell, a county employee, explained to commissioners the cost to cover her family with the possible insurance hike factored into it and how she already takes home less than she did in 2010.

Jamie Michael, with the county’s Health and Human Services Department, said employees tend to skip doctor visits for preventative care when premiums and co-pays are increased.

“(The county) could, in turn, be increasing its costs because we would have a less healthy (employee) population,” Michael said.

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