Crawford County Commissioners have decided to change its dental insurance provider, a move officials say could save about $60,000 over the next two years.

Crawford County Commissioners have decided to change its dental insurance provider, a move officials say could save about $60,000 over the next two years.

The commission voted unanimously Tuesday morning to switch from Delta Dental, which has been its provider for at least 10 years, to MetLife Insurance. The county currently pays about $233,000 in yearly premiums for its 321 employees, County Clerk Don Pyle said.

“The cost was expected to go up to $249,000 next year,” Pyle said.

The commission also decided that it would stay with its current health insurance provider. The county employs a self-funded insurance plan, which is administrated by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas. Pyle said the county has estimated about $2.5 million in health insurance claims next year, and that the bids offered by two other providers could not compete with BC/BS. The commission had looked at switching to a fully-funded plan, but that for about three months it would have pay for the self-funded plan at the same time. The country tries to shop around every couple years to see what is available and how it compares to its current plan, Pyle said. The bids were put together by the search firm PowerGroup for a $14,000 fee.

“What we have is still the best for the county,” Benefits Committee Chairman Tom Ragonese said. “We feel it’s best to stick with what we have."

Commissioner Linda Grilz said she was concerned that copies of the bids had not been provided and that the fee was too high.

“Did we get copies? Otherwise I think we got ripped off,” Grilz asked Ragonese. “Did we get $14,000 worth of good?”

“I think we did,” Ragonese said, adding that the committee had not received copies of the original inquiry, but that it could obtain them. “We thought they did an excellent job. We’re making the right decision, as before.”

The commission also approved the allocation of $3,185 in grant money for the crisis center, and tabled a discussion about providing new communication radios to allow bids to be taken.