Bartholomew County to see insurance fund reserves grow

After years of the threat of deficits and looming crises, Bartholomew County officials are finally looking at some good news from the county employees health insurance trust fund.

Barring any large, last-minute claims, the trust fund is on track to have more than $700,000 at the end of the year, said Barb Hackman, the county auditor. In recent years, the self-insurance fund has been in danger of ending the year in the red, requiring a scramble by county officials to find funds to keep the trust fund solvent.

County Commissioner Carl Lienhoop said one of the big differences this year has been having no catastrophic illnesses among employees. Those will quickly eat up the reserves, he said.

County officials have increased the employees’ share of the health care costs, and changed benefits and deductibles to find ways to improve the health of the trust fund.

County officials say they need about three good years in a row to build up the $2 million in reserves they believe the county needs.