LAKE COUNTY -- With the gargantuan CalPERS Blue Shield health care benefit provider planning to quit Lake County to cut costs, county employees will be digging deeper into their pockets.
A cost-cutting plan voted on last week by the pension fund's board of directors will allow Blue Shield to pull out of four rural counties, citing rising costs of providing service. Lake County, along with Napa, Plumas and El Dorado counties, will take the hit within the next year.
"It's going to cost employees more out of pocket for the same health coverage they're getting now because of the deductible," Ferguson said. "The Blue Shield EPO option will no longer be available as of January 2008.
"This is disappointing but not unexpected because we had a benefit without the network to support it," added Ferguson. "We hope that CalPERS is going to be working to develop an HMO in Lake County so they can bring HMO products back." Ferguson noted that the agency created an HMO in Humboldt County last year that became effective in March of this year.