Pitkin County sees drop in health care costs

Nov 23, 2015

Credit Tracy Olson/Flickr

  Pitkin County has been spending millions of dollars on medical care for its workers. That’s dropped dramatically in recent years. Pitkin County is projected to spend more than $3.6 million in the 2015 calendar year, a significant drop from previous years.

In 2012, for example, the County spent more than $4.3 million on health care benefits. “Based on decreased costs in 2015,” says Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock, “ we’re projecting a 15% decrease in premiums going into 2016.”

Peacock says there’s several factors at work. Pitkin County is part of the Valley Health Alliance, whose health screenings and fairs are a key way to get basic health information on each employee. Workers are then offered cash for taking those results to a primary care doctor. Pitkin County has also been cutting costs by shifting more employees towards insurance plans with higher deductibles, while also covering preventive care.