Health Insurance Opt-out Payments Exceeded Allowable Rates at Liberty Township
Columbus – Liberty Township (Delaware County) improperly paid a combined $12,447 in health insurance opt-out payments to three employees, state auditors found.
A financial audit of the township released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost determined that the township’s policy for offering opt-out payments in lieu of health insurance benefits is in conflict with state law.
According to the report, the township permits employees with health insurance coverage from a source other than the township to receive “50% of the premium of the insurance coverage that the employee would receive if the insurance is provided by the Township.”
The Ohio Revised Code, however, limits the payments to 25 percent of the premium costs, with the exception of certain union employees.
The township issued opt-out payments to the following non-union employees at a rate of 50 percent instead of the allowable 25 percent rate from 2014 through 2016, resulting in overpayments totaling the amounts listed below:
- Thomas Mitchell: $10,813
- Richard Spellman: $1,127
- David Patterson: $507 (Repaid via payroll deduction)
Former Fiscal Officer Mark Gerber and current Fiscal Officer Nancy Denutte are jointly and severally liable for $10,545 and $1,902, respectively, in the event that the employees do not repay the township. The practice of the Auditor’s office is to limit findings for recovery to the current audit period absent a finding of fraud, waste or abuse.
A full copy of this report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.