The Gregg County Commissioners Court approved a change to employee health insurance Thursday despite a concern raised among some members about a lack of time to perform research.
Commissioners heard from Dawn Brinson with Brinson Benefits, a consultant that’s worked with the county for two years.
The item from Brinson that generated the most discussion was whether the county should award a contract for medical and dental plan administration to Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).
Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt said the county has contracted with Healthcare Highways for two years and has received numerous complaints from employees about the company and its delay in processing claims.
County employees were being contacted by their health care providers to ask why payment hadn’t been made, he said.
“Healthcare Highways was not processing (claims), and they were bundling them up. Instead of doing it for every one, they’d wait till they got hundreds and then they’d process it,” Stoudt said.
He appointed a committee made up of himself, human resources, purchasing, auditing and Brinson to consider options for the county’s health care administrator.
And in January, Brinson was instructed to seek bids for a company that could replace Healthcare Highways, Stoudt said.
According to Stoudt, 33 companies submitted bids — the most it’s ever received for an employee insurance contract.
Three weeks ago, Brinson presented the bids to Stoudt and offered to seek a lower price if he was willing to “press the time.” He agreed and told her to seek a lower bid.
Pct. 3 Commissioner Floyd Wingo said the packet of information regarding the insurance change had only been given to commissioners two days before Thursday’s meeting, and he believed there wasn’t enough time for them to make an informed decision. Wingo questioned why commissioners weren’t told about the