MOUNT VERNON — Knox County will be implementing a new wellness program as part of its employee health insurance plan. The plan will require certain tests and check-ups, which it will pay for in hopes of reducing treatment costs because of early detection. If employees do not take the prescribed tests, they will pay an extra 12 percent on top of the employee share of the insurance premium.
County Auditor Jonette Curry said they will begin meeting with county employees the week of Jan. 23 to distribute information on the new program.
Curry, whose office administers the county insurance program, said insurance premiums are increasing 18 percent this year and the county felt something had to be done to try to reduce costs.
Curry said if health problems are detected early, they can be much cheaper to treat. Also, early treatment means better survival rates. Employees will have all year to take the required tests. Letters will be sent in October to employees who still need to finish the tests, so they will still have two months to complete them.
“No 12 percent increases will be imposed until 2013,” said Commissioner Allen Stockberger.