La Salle County Board Chairman Jim Olson said the county can't kick the can down the road any longer on health insurance costs.
On Thursday, the La Salle County Board voted 22-4 in favor of increasing deductibles to $1,500 for new non-union employees hired after Aug. 1 from $250.
The County Board also voted new non-union employees hired after Aug. 1 may elect to remain on the county's health insurance plan at retirement, but the employee will pay 100% premium costs per month.
Board Member Allen Erbrederis, R-Somonauk, said if the county doesn't make reforms now, insurance claims may soon become unaffordable for the county's self-insured plan. Olson added it could affect the county's credit rating.
"This is extremely important for us to get under control," said Olson, D-Seneca.
Board members Mike Kasap, D-La Salle, David Torres, D-Oglesby, Steve Tuftie, R-Ottawa, and Lou Ann Carretto, D-Ottawa, voted against the move.
Questions were asked if new union hires would fall under the same plan. Olson said there are no guarantees, but the county is working on getting it into the new contract.
"We want to lead by example," Olson said.
At this time, the modifications voted Thursday to health insurance will only affect new non-union hires after Aug. 1.