News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 27, 2014

Clinic set to lower city worker health costs

TERRE HAUTE — After years of discussion, employees of the City of Terre Haute will soon have their own health clinic.

Mayor Duke Bennett received approval Monday from the Terre Haute Board of Public Works for an agreement with Wellness for Life Medical, which is the same company providing health clinic services to Vigo County government employees.

The clinic, which will be inside the Vigo County Annex, should save the city money on its annual employee health care costs, Bennett said. It should be open to city employees on the city’s Anthem Group Medical Plan and their insured dependents starting March 1, said Pat Carney, the city’s benefits consultant.

Bennett and the Terre Haute City Council have discussed opening an employee health clinic for years as a way to reduce overall health care costs. The city’s approximately 500 employees are self-insured, meaning the city pays for most of their health care claims. Only very large claims are covered by insurance payments.

It has taken the past couple of years to build up enough money in the employee health plan to pay to launch the clinic, Bennett told the Board of Works.

“In order to save money, you’ve got to spend a little money up front,” he said. The clinic will be “a huge benefit,” he said.

The city spends about $6 million per year on medical claims, Carney said. The clinic, which will be open 40 to 50 hours per week, has a base fee for the city of $25,000 per month, Bennett said. The clinic will be able to dispense prescription drugs and provide other basic medical services, including providing annual physicals, Carney said.

Wellness for Life Medical, a Terre Haute-based business, provided the lowest and most responsive bid, Bennett said.

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