Lexington council turns to wellness center to cut insurance costs

Following a national trend to improve employee health so companies can cut health-insurance costs, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council agreed Tuesday to set up a wellness center for city employees.

The center will “be voluntary and free for employees, retirees and dependents covered by the city’s health insurance plan,” reports Beverly Fortune of the Lexington Herald-Leader. Acute and primary care, chronic-disease management and preventive screenings will be among the services provided at the center, the location of which has not yet been chosen. It is estimated to cost $1.3 million.

Chattanooga opened a similar center in 2006. Its health insurance costs were increasing about 20 percent annually, with health benefits costing the city $16 million that year. Today, the city is saving about $5 million a year, said Madeline Green, director of risk management and incentives for the city. (Read more)

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