A large number of county employees were present at the Ellis County Commissionerís Court specially called meeting Thursday to observe courtís consideration and action to approve the renewal and/or possible modification to the medical and dental benefits through the Texas Association of Counties Health and Employee Benefits Pool.

Options include increasing the prescription drug benefits from no yearly deductible to a $100 yearly deductible with co-payments remaining the same.

County Commissioner Heath Sims noted that the $100 deductible would save the county approximately $70,000 per year, but to leave the benefit package the same would mean a 4.9 percent increase to the county.

County Judge Chad Adams read numerous statements from county employees expressing concerns expressing the added deductible would create hardships on already over-taxed family budgets.

One employee commented, ďOne of the first places we go to find increased funds is employee benefits.Ē

After Commissioner Heath Sims called for the motion, the commissionerís court voted unanimously to leave health benefits as they were.