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Harrison employees getting better insurance coverage

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

A visit to the dentist soon will not be as painful for Harrison County employees.

This summer, the nearly 250 people who work for the county will have dental and vision insurance, said James Harris, commission administrator.

This is the first time Harrison County employees will have such coverage, he said.

"Our benefits package is offered to all employees who work for elected officials in the county," Harris said. "The commissioners thought this was a great benefit to offer our employees."

The coverage is offered through the West Virginia Association of Counties, Harris said. Two private companies administer and coordinate the insurance.

"The county is funding (the coverage) at the $18-a-month level -- that's the simple coverage rate. It's $57 for family coverage."

The county still will pay $18 a month for the family plan, with the employee picking up the rest of the tab, he said.

Employees have until June 9 to enroll, Harris said. The plan approved by county commissioners disallows "double dipping," by those who already have insurance through other providers, he said.

Harrison employees are eligible for the coverage because of the commission's membership in the association, Harris said.

"The association of counties is the driving force behind this," he said. "They are offering this as part of our membership in the organization."

Officials hope the insurance will promote good health, he said. Teeth cleaning and other preventive measures are offered under the plan.

Employees were informed about the plan through information in their May 30 paychecks. Some already have enrolled, but no figures are yet available, Harris said.

So far, he has heard positive comments about the plan. Coverage will begin July 1.

Staff writer Paul Darst can be reached at 626-1404.

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