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      Ben Hill solves rising healthcare problem

      Ben Hill Commissioners during a work session.

      If Ben Hill County commissioners don't make a change, rising healthcare costs could send the county into financial turmoil.

      Since last year, the cost of health insurance rose by 40% in Ben Hill County.

      Officials have been working for at least two months trying to figure out how they can balance this problem.

      As a solution, a new plan will have a higher deductible.

      Instead of a $2,000, it's going up to $3,500.

      When you look at what happened last year, we found that only eight of our 97 employees actually reached the $2,000 deductible limit. So what we did was we computed to estimate for example that ten employees might reach the $3,500 limit, said Frank Field, County Administrator.

      Commissioners set aside $15,000 to assist those 10 employees who may reach the new deductible.

      Although the deductible is going up, employees will pay less for insurance.

      The new plan will be a dollar cheaper than last year.

      To save on costs, commissioners are also opening health rooms to help monitor employees with illnesses.