2009-10-10 / News

Vote next week could resolve EMS billing dispute

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON – The long running disagreement between Union Township Trustees and Hebron Village Council over the distribution of EMS billing revenue may be nearing an end – at least for this year. Council members will hear a resolution on how to divide the billing revenue on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

If council members and trustees both ratify the proposed settlement, the township will receive $19,379.59 for 2007, $70,448.34 for 2008, and $24,988.21 for 2009 receipts through Aug. 31. The township’s total take is $114,816.14. A grand total of $294,322.96 has been collected through Oct. 5.

To review, Trustee President John Slater met with Hebron Mayor Clifford Mason and William Kramer, of Kramer & Associates of Cincinnati, a fire service consultant, who agreed to meet with Slater and Mason on August 5 in an effort to arbitrate an agreement. Trustees recently signed a fire/EMS services contract for 2009 with Hebron, after the village agreed to use an arbitrator to help settle a dispute.

Trustees believe the township is entitled to 60 percent of all the EMS billing revenue that the Hebron Fire Department collects because the township contributes 60 percent of the Hebron department’s operating expenses. Hebron Village Council members maintain that it’s not that simple, and some runs are not eligible to collect EMS billing revenue. Trustees and council members have been at a stalemate since January.

Slater said an agreement was reached whereby the township would receive 50 percent of the EMS billing revenue generated from July 2007, when billing began, through December 2008. Then the township would receive 100 percent of EMS billing revenue generated from the township area (not including Hebron and Buckeye Lake) this year, and the revenue could be used only in that service area.

However, Hebron Fiscal Officer Carie Kraner said the agreement only covers through 2009. They could be back to the drawing board Jan. 2010.

“The exercise of working through this has been helpful to everyone,” said Hebron Village Solicitor Wes Untied, who drafted the legislation. He said the proposed settlement would go back to the trustees if the council approves it. Should the trustees approve it as well, Untied hopes that spirit of cooperation will spill over to next year, when the agreement may be revisited.

Hebron council member Annelle Porter said the latest proposal is “a long time coming,” and believes it’s an equitable arrangement with a reasonable chance of gaining council approval.

In other township news:

• Tuesday afternoon Ohio Insurance Services Agent Terry Burns outlined changes to the township employee medical benefits for elected officials and township employees.

The new plan, effective Oct. 1, carries a $1,000 deductible per covered individual up to a maximum of $3,000 per family. The township will pay $10,543 per month to the insurance company for benefits under the new plan, but trustees have agreed to pay the new deductible for everyone which could add up to an additional $19,000 a year.

The plan covers all four elected officials and their families. Three of the five township employees are covered on family plans, one is covered on an employee and spouse plan and one is on an employee only plan.

The township paid $10,462.16 per month for the last contract year for a non-deductible plan. That plan is increasing to $12,792.61 per month for the upcoming contract year.

Burns says moving to the $1,000 deductible plan saves the township roughly $26,000 in payments to the insurance carrier. Even if the township ends up reimbursing the $1,000 or $3,000 deductible for everyone in the plan, the township is still ahead is still ahead about $7,000 compared to just renewing the current plan, she said.

The township will be paying $1,044.76 each per month to supplement Medicare coverage for Trustees Jack Justice and Jesse Ours and their spouses.

The new plan retains the existing $5 million lifetime maximum. Once the new deductible is met, the plan pays 100 percent of the costs for in network inpatient care, outpatient surgery and outpatient diagnostic, x-ray and labs. There is no change in the prescription drug benefits.

Co-pays, increased to $25 for office visits and $50 to visit a specialist from $15 and $25, respectively. There is no change in the co-pays for emergency and

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