Obamacare Costing County

Marshall County commissioners provided 103 full-time employees $1,500 pay raises for fiscal year 2015, but certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act are making it more expensive for them to provide workers with health insurance.

During the Tuesday meeting, County Clerk Jan Pest told commissioners the implementation of the Act – known commonly as Obamacare – is increasing the premiums the county pays for employee health insurance. She said this is because of the tax the law places on the plans the commission provides.

Pest said the tax is increasing premiums by about 2 percent for standard health care plans, as well as for dental plans. The increase for prescription coverage attributable to Obamacare is 2.2 percent, she said.

Last month, commissioners Don Mason and Bob Miller voted to approve the fiscal year 2015 budget of $17.1 million, while Commissioner Brian Schambach was absent due to injury.

Pest said the increased health care costs are accounted for in this budget.

Though physically absent, Schambach was able to join Mason and Miller for the Tuesday meeting via speakerphone. Commissioners officially approved the property tax levy rates for the fiscal 2015 year Tuesday as follows:

  • Class I (agricultural property, including livestock and farm equipment) from 10 cents per $100 of value to 9.85 cents.
  • Class II (residential property) from 20 cents per $100 of value to 19.7 cents.
  • Class III and IV (anything that does not fit in Class I or II; Class III is outside a municipality, while Class IV is inside a municipality) from 40 cents per $100 of value to 39.4 cents.

County officials estimate these cuts will save taxpayers $145,490 in fiscal 2015.

Commissioners also opened a pair of bids for asbestos testing at three houses that have been repeatedly damaged during floods, with two of them in Moundsville and one in Benwood.

County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart said this round of bids will be only for asbestos testing, adding abatements and demolition will come later.

Hart and Deputy EMA Director Mike Mucheck will review the bids before making a recommendation to the commission.

Commissioners also agreed to appoint James R. “Bob” Meade to serve on the Marshall County Parks and Recreation board, while also approving Floyd Jamison to serve on the Marshall County Airport Authority board. The commission meets at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the county courthouse on Seventh Street in Moundsville.