Commissioners recognize Seneca County Senior Citizen of the Year Thursday
[Tiffin, OH – Sept. 14, 2023] – The commissioners congratulated a Fostoria man Thursday morning for being recognized as the Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging 2023 Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year for Seneca County.
Leonard Skonecki, who was presented with an award and proclamation from the commissioners on Aug. 30th, joined the commissioners during the board session and discussed his service and contributions to the community.
Skonecki spent his working years at the Dayton State Hospital before returning to his hometown, where he has resided for the past 25 years. His passion for preserving local heritage is evident through his leadership within the Historical Society, where he portrays historical figures and supports educational programs.
Skonecki’s commitment extends to various community organizations, including the Sons of the American Legion, where he actively contributes to the well-being of others and provides support to veterans.
Bryan Glover, the Executive Director of the Seneca County Commission on Aging, joined the commissioners in congratulating Skonecki during the meeting. Glover emphasized that honorees like Skonecki are individuals who consistently work toward making Seneca County a better place through their dedicated service.
“(People like Leonard) don’t just pop up in Seneca County, they’re here every day,” Glover said. “It’s the many things you’ve done, that’s what makes Seneca County great. Thank you for your service to the community.”
Also during the meeting, the commissioners approved the health insurance committee’s recommendations, including the county’s continued financial contribution to Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for eligible county employees.
Kim Bond, representing First Insurance Group, presented the renewal plan from CEBCO (County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio) during the meeting. Seneca County has been a member of CEBCO for 13 years.
Effective January 1, 2024, CEBCO proposed a 13-percent rate increase, which is the same as last year’s increase. This rate adjustment is determined by assessing claims versus premiums paid. The loss ratio for the period spanning July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, was 259 percent, indicating that CEBCO paid out considerably more in claims than it collected in premiums, Bond said.
The commissioners agreed to again provide $800 for single coverage and $1,600 for family coverage to employees’ HSA contributions, a practice described as “very generous” by Bond.
Seneca County has maintained a health insurance fund, which has provided a reserve to mitigate the impact of rate increases on both the county and its employees. The average annual increase in Seneca County’s CEBCO rates over the past five years has been 5.4 percent. The average employee contribution increase over the same period, including the current recommendation, is only 1 percent.
This year, the additional estimated premium required by CEBCO would be $372,248. The recommendation, which was approved Thursday morning, is for the county to increase its portion to 9 percent, amounting to $219,788, while the employee contribution would only increase by 2 percent, or $11,345. For employees, this translates to $1 per week for single coverage and $2 per week for family coverage.
In addition to the increases recommended by Bond, an estimated $141,000 is to be drawn from the health insurance fund carryover to help minimize the impact of the increases on the county General Fund and on county employees. At the end of the year, it is projected that approximately $330,000 will remain in that fund, exceeding the targeted minimum balance of $250,000. This reserve is intended to offset significant rate increases and provide flexibility, including the possibility of premium holidays in years with more favorable rate conditions.
Also as part of the plan for 2024, the maximum out-of-pocket limits of $5,000 and $10,000 remain unchanged and vision and dental coverage premiums remain the same for county employees. Voluntary Open Enrollment meetings are set to be scheduled soon to provide employees with additional information regarding their health insurance options.
In other action, County Administrator Barb Patterson said work on the county’s budget for 2024 is ongoing. She said her tentative goal to approve the budget is Nov. 9th.
In new business, the commissioners approved all resolutions from the pre-meeting agenda.