Gregg County commissioners discuss changing employee healthcare provider

Gregg County commissioners discuss changing employee healthcare provider
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 2:20 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2023 at 11:56 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Health insurance is something all East Texans should be educated about, and that was a hot button topic for one East Texas commissioners court meeting.

Over a two-hour Gregg county commissioners court meeting happened Thursday, with a flurry of agenda items quickly voted on, until they got to changing the county’s health plans for employees.

“The world is changing; everybody knows things are different. Health care is very complicated. What we did today was the best financial decision for this community and the employees,” said Gregg County judge Bill Stoudt.

The county is moving away from its existing inadequate plan to a new Blue Cross-Blue Shield plan.

But when it came up on the agenda, some commissioners objected to voting on it because they say they had not had time to thoroughly go over the extensive paperwork involved.

“A whole page of recommendations that are made. Who did they come from? Where ? I mean,” said precinct 4 commissioner Danny Craig.

“Short notice, yeah. We had two days to decipher all of this. And that’s a lot of information to decipher,” precinct 1 commissioner Ronnie McKinney said.

“Short notice - that’s on me. I made a decision to go out one more time and get the numbers better, and we did,” Stoudt said.

Stoudt put it on his shoulders, urging commissioners to vote for a plan to save county money and taxpayer dollars.

“They saved us in excess of $2,000,000 this year and we’re on track for another million this year. What I wanted to remind everybody in this court today is this is not our money. At the end of the day we’re spending taxpayers’ money,” the judge said.

“But it was worth it. To get what we need for the people that work for Gregg County, and save the taxpayers money,” McKinney says.

The agenda issue to change county health plans was approved by unanimous vote.