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JPs hear med flight proposal

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DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY
montcnews2@windstream.net
MOUNT IDA – Montgomery County Justices of the Peace heard a presentation regarding the benefits of having a LifeNet air ambulance membership during this months quorum court meeting.
After quickly dealing with the mandatory approval of the minutes and financial reports the floor was turned over to Bobby King, a senior flight medic for LifeNet.
He stated that LifeNet is associated with Air Methods Association which offers a yearly membership plan through Omni Advantage.
King explained that the membership will cover all air medical expenses accrued while using a company associated with Omni Advantage. This allows a member to request an associated company for air medical services when they are in a state covered by Omni Advantage.
LifeNet, which has a base in Hot Springs, serves most of Montgomery County, but under the proposed memberships they would respond anywhere in the county if requested.
He stated that he was under the impression that the JPs were considering providing memberships for county employees. King added that a group plan for over 50 employees would have a yearly membership cost of $13 per individual and $29 per family. Employees would have to have an insurance plan of some kind to qualify for this price.
Under the proposed plan the county would pay the membership for all of its 77 employees at a projected cost of just over $1,000 per year. This would include all employees and elected county officials. The county would only cover the cost of the individual plan with employees given an option to pay the difference for the family plan.
Justice Johnette Johnson asked if this would cover services provided by another company in the area. King stated no. he explained by saying that you wouldn’t purchase a car at one dealership and expect them to pay for work done at another company’s dealership.
Proposed 2017 budgets were also handed out to justices in attendance. They will pass a budget for next year at the December meeting.
One point of discussion was the appropriation of money to cover the cost of medical insurance for the county coroner.
County Clerk Debbie Baxter stated that an ordinance was passed in 2003 to appropriate money in the coroner’s budget to cover health insurance, but the county had not been doing so at the request of the former coroner. It was explained that they did not need county provided health insurance.
The Justices discussed adding it back to the budget due to a need for health insurance expressed by the incoming coroner.
Tims Edwards stated that he felt it was a pretty good budget.
“I think it shows good stewardship of the county’s money.” he said.