Putnam County is exploring a health insurance bridge program for county employees who are ready to retire, but not yet eligible for Medicare.
Mayor Randy Porter said the cost isn’t too high–only $40,000 or $50,000 a year, and could actually end up saving the county money.
“It’s a benefit to them, it rewards them, but also in the long run, it would save the county money” Porter said. “We don’t want to see them go, but if they’re looking to retire it would bring a new person in at a cheaper price so it’d be good for the county in the long and good for the employees that are retiring.”
Porter said they would pay just 50 percent of the individual’s health insurance, and he hopes it would serve as an incentive to come work for Putnam County.
“We think it’s going to be attractive to a lot of the county employees,” Porter said. “It’s just going to be another carrot we can dangle with all the rest of the stuff as far as benefits go in our county to try and attract those employees to Putnam County.”
Porter said they are trying to reward long-time employees who are working until they qualify for Medicare. While they are still working on specifications, Porter said there will be stringent rules in place to ensure the benefits will go to long-serving employees.