Franklin County isn't done paying its former health insurance provider.
Commissioners reluctantly agreed to pay a $44,000 bill to the now-defunct insurance pool Wednesday.
The Washington Counties Insurance Pool dissolved before Jan. 1 because of financial difficulties. The self-insured pool had sustained three years in which claims filed exceeded premiums paid that year, forcing the closure.
And claims now have used up the pool's cash reserves, so members that belonged to the pool before it dissolved are being asked to pay more, said Rosie Rumsey, human services director.
Franklin County's $44,000 is 80 percent of the estimate of what the pool will need for remaining claims from 2010, she said. It's possible the county could be asked to pay more.
Meanwhile, the county's insurance committee is looking at other options for medical insurance.
The county has signed on to the Washington Counties Insurance Fund for 2011, which is part of the same organization, but is a group plan offered through Premera Blue Cross. Commissioners said that a quick decision was needed to find new insurance before the self-insured pool dissolved.
The switch bumped up heath insurance costs, which caused employees to ask the county to chip in more. Commissioners agreed to pay an additional $67.75 per month toward employees' health care premiums for the first six months. That's about time officials estimated it would take to decide what to do for insurance.