Until this week, the flex plan for county employee insurance was administered by the auditor's office in Cherokee County. This involves allowing the employee to arrange an individualized benefit package.
At the urging of Bonnie Ebel, county auditor, the supervisors approved making Three Rivers Benefit Corp. out of Sioux City the administrator of the county's flex plan.
"We were right on the edge of being an insurance company," Ebel said. According to rules of the federal government, any entity that administers a certain dollar amount of insurance funds has to be considered an insurance business and meet federal requirements for filing paperwork as an insurance business.
The county was dangerously close to going over that amount. As well as avoiding costly paperwork requirements, there is also a concern about federal privacy requirements in handling confidential employee information, according to Ebel.
It was decided to turn over the responsibility of the insurance to a professional insurance carrier.