Acres: changes to county insurance could save $3M
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 11:50 am

To the Editor:

In last week’s edition of the Advance News, Mr. Chuck Kelly questioned why the prospective St. Lawrence County Legislative candidates had not presented any proposals on how they would help resolve the county’s deficit of $8-10 million. I am glad Mr. Kelly asked.

Privately as I have met with voters in Legislative district #8 (which includes all of the township of Madrid, and major portions of the townships of Canton and Potsdam), I have laid out my proposal. I will now do so publicly.

My major initiative is to bring changes to the county’s health care system by introducing health savings accounts coupled with high deductible plans. This plan, which I helped pioneer as a member of the Madrid-Waddington Central School board, is currently saving the Madrid-Waddington school district an average of $400,000 a year on 192 plan participants.

The county has approximately 1,400 employees and retirees. Using the same rate of savings per participant, we could conservatively generate $3 million of savings per year for the county.

At Madrid-Waddington Central School, it has been a win-win for both the district and the employees. The plan is currently in its fourth year at Madrid Waddington and it has been a major success. It has now spread to Lisbon, Heuvelton, Morristown, and Ogdensburg school districts.

A potential $3 million savings in health care costs is a good start and a good down payment on a budget deficit of $8-10 million.

Kevin Acres,

Candidate for St. Lawrence Co. Legislature, District 8