Higher Insurance Costs Lead to Lexington Budget Shortfall

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lexington Fayette Urban County Government is in a $7.2-million budget hole due to rising costs in the city's health insurance program for employees. A special council meeting was held Tuesday afternoon to discuss the problem, which councilman Jay McChord says shouldn't be all that surprising.

"The more times you go to the doctor, the hospital, the pharmacy, the more your healthcare costs go up. When you have a pool of people, as we do here, that go to the hospital, the doctor, and the pharmacy a lot, healthcare costs go up."

Open enrollment for Lexington's three thousand city employees begins this month, and council members opted not to raise insurance rates. But changes are likely in the future, including putting an end to the zero-deductible policy, requiring the use of generic prescriptions, and implementing higher premiums for smokers.

In the mean time, council members have not yet decided how to fill the $7.2-million budget shortfall.