Workers' comp costs squeeze Scott County budget

Friday, October 26, 2007

BENTON, Mo. -- The Scott County government is looking for ways to cut workers' compensation insurance costs in the face of a coming budget crunch.

Meanwhile, the county has been put on a "watch list" by its insurer, the Missouri Association of Counties, though MAC executive director Dick Burke said the county isn't in danger of losing its coverage any time soon.

Addressing insurance costs has become a high-priority item in recent weeks, as a MAC specialist in reducing claims has been in frequent contact with the county, advising the government how to cut down on claims.

The county's annual workers' compensation premium has shot up from $53,000 in 2001 to $98,000 this year.

Burke said Scott County isn't alone: 18 counties of the 95 counties insured by MAC around the state are on the same watch list. Burke said the goal now is to work with the county to lower its premiums, which will benefit both the county and the larger insurance pool.

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