The Delaware County Commissioners learned on Monday, July 31, health care costs for Delaware County employees are increasing this year even though around 70 percent of employees do not reach their deductible threshold.

The out-of-pocket expense jumped from $3,000 to $6,000 for an individual and up to $12,000 for a family, said Vicki Cossairt, Delaware County Human Resources Director. The rising costs are associated with people retiring early that are not eligible for Medicare.

Out-of- pocket expenses are for a catastrophic event, said Doug Smith (District 1), Delaware County Commissioner chairman. 

Cossairt addressed the commissioners during Monday’s meeting saying the deductible also increased to $1,750, over the previous $1,500 deductible. .

“This is offset by the $1,000 health benefit we offer employees,” Cossairt said.

Cossairt also asked the commissioners to approve a salvia-based drug testing method as part of the pre-employment application process.

“It is a new technology using a swab and we get the results back in two days,” Cossairt said.

The cost is $35, where a urine sample test runs $45, she said.

Three employees in the county clerk’s office would be trained at $100 each to perform the tests, Cossairt said. The The test is not Department of Transportation compliant.

In financial business, the commissioners approved several items, including a $40 bid from Raymond Bibler for property in the Flint Ridge Subdivision, and a $1,582.87 invoice by the state’s Office of Juvenile Affairs,

Other financial transactions were to transfer $20,000 from the Eucha Fire Department Capital Outlay account to its Maintenance and Operations account and approve two blanket purchase orders for $8,500 each to Emergency Apparatus Maintenance for emergency repairs and for pump testing on two fire engines.

Other blanket purchase orders approved were for $14,999 for parts and service to Cabin Diesel Service for a dump truck and $12,000 to J.A. Riggs Tractor Co. for backhoe repairs. Both were for equipment in District No. 3.

Also approved was to transfer $60,209 from a Cherokee Nation account back to a county account.

The commissioners also approved an Oklahoma Department of Transportation form for the Wolf Creek and Whitewater Bridge projects.

Smith said the forms allow for money to be reimbursed that was up-fronted - $88,441 for engineering services for repairing Whitewater Bridge and $109,400 for relocating utilities for the Wolf Creek project.

Also approved was a grant application from the District Attorney’s Council to fund an investigator for two years for the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Harlan Moore said the grant amount is around $90,000, which includes salary and benefits.

The commissioners also approved:

To receive and file Oklahoma Department of Transportation documents for an application for a low interest loan to purchase three pieces of equipment.

A Detention System Agreement with the Craig County Board of Commissioners.

A Borrow Permit Agreement with Mickey Capps for obtaining materials to be used for county road maintenance in District No. 3.

An Interlocal Agreement between the city of Jay and District No. 2 for street improvements on Hodges Lane and 8th Street.