County to close employee health clinic in Port

Program started as a cost-savings measure to be discontinued as part of deal with new health insurer
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press staff

Ozaukee County government employees would no longer utilize the county’s health clinic under a plan endorsed by the County Board’s Finance Committee last week.

Following the recommendation of county Administrator Jason Dzwinel, the committee accepted the proposal of the Wisconsin Counties Association Group Health Trust for 2019 health insurance coverage.

It includes an 8% premium increase and increases in some co-pays for emergency services.

The proposal also necessitates the closure of the Oz Health Employee Clinic at 1329 West Grand Ave. in Port Washington. Instead, patients would utilize an “equivalent” employee clinic at the Aurora Clinic facility in Port Washington. 

The change means the county will be looking to sublet the Grand Avenue location. The county has two years remaining on its lease there at a total cost of $65,000. The county also owns some medical equipment  it will seek to dispose of.

County officials had assumed a 7.5% increase in health insurance premiums in the 2019 budget. The accepted proposal falls within the parameters of that assumption, Dzwinel said. 

The plan still needs to be approved by the full County Board,  along with the rest of the proposed 2019 budget.

The county’s current insurance provider, WPS Insurance, had proposed increasing premiums 29% based on the current plan design. Anthem also submitted a proposal. It called for an 11% increase in premiums and did not match the current plan design nor include continued funding for the clinic.

The committee also increased the 2019 sales tax estimate by $205,141 to nearly $8.66 million.

The committee voted to use those funds to help pay for an upgrade to the public address system in the county Administration Center and make the emergency management director position full-time, at a cost of $47,000.

The committee also voted to set aside $551,000 in a capital reserve fund to pay for one-time capital projects.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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