This fall, county government employees noticed dramatic changes in their monthly health insurance premiums and contacted members of the Sauk County Board to find out what was going on.
A few supervisors pressed for answers, and learned that administrative staff had recently changed the way the county calculates its contribution to employee premiums. This, in turn, changed the employees' shares.
The change revealed the county had not limited its share to 88 percent of the least costly policy option, as required by its ordinance. Instead, the county had paid 88 percent of a more expensive plan.
The Baraboo News Republic reported this month that the county's contributions to employee health plans have exceeded the ordinance limits by nearly $1 million over the last three years.
Administrative officials have verified that dollar figure, but dispute that it should be characterized as an overcontribution. They say it's likely county legal staff interpreted the ordinance differently in the past, but intended to follow it.
The board is expected to learn more about the matter in the coming weeks.