The move is part of an effort by the county to prevent its $40 million annual employee health-care-cost bill from rising, Pima County Human Resources Director Allyn Bulzomi explained.
"The whole idea is to get the best care at a cheap price for taxpayers," Bulzomi
. The county hopes to begin open enrollment in May, Bulzomi
said more than 80 percent of insured county employees took advantage of premium discounts for workers who don't use tobacco, who exercise and who complete health assessments and preventive screenings.
Rather than make a profit, Bulzomi
said now the county has an opportunity to save money.
noted that most counties in
self-insure their health plans and that
recently rebated its employees two months of premiums -- a reward for keeping health costs in check.
"We're one of the last counties in the state to do this," Bulzomi
"It's not that we don't want our employees to go to the doctor.
We want them to go to the doctor and to stay healthy."
said so far he
hasn't heard any complaints from employees.
The change will be done with minimal disruption, he
doesn't anticipate the new federal health law having any effect on county employees' health plans.