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Sibley County expenditures under budget so far

Winthrop News of Winthrop, Minnesota

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Sibley County's expenditures in its major funds were under budget through September, according to the Sibley County Auditor's Office.

January through September 2015 represent 75 percent of the year has been completed. In the General Revenue Fund, expenditures were at 68 percent of the budget. Expenditures were 55 percent of the budget for the Public Works Fund and 72 percent of the Public Health and Human Services Fund. Expenditures in the Children's Collaborative Agency Fund were at 40 percent.

Expenditures were above budget — at 94 percent for the Debt Service Fund. Sibley County is not concerned about this because most of the bond payments are due in the beginning of the calendar year.

In other business, Leota Lind of South Country Health Alliance presented a report to commissioners. She reported that in the past, South Country was the single Medical Assistance plan provided. This will be changed, and Medica will be the second plan offered. If clients do not specifically choose South Country Health Alliance, Medica will be the default choice, she said.

As of June 2015, 2,080 Sibley County residents were enrolled in South Country Health alliance. 84 percent of the Sibley County enrollees are for Medical Assistance. This is followed with 6 percent for SeniorCare Complete, 5 percent for MinnesotaCare, 2 percent for SharedCare, and 1 percent each for MSC+, AbilityCare, and SingleCare.

Sibley County makes up about 5 percent of South Country's overall membership. Enrollment, increased from 1,215 members in December 2013 to 2,025 members in December 2014. In 2014, Sibley County experienced a 15 percent increase in primary care visits since 2012.

Sibley County benefited from two Community Reinvestment Grants in 2014. One was for Sibley County Public Health and Human Services to pilot a Community Health Worker program, to address health disparities, specifically in the Hispanic population. This three-year project received a $122,700 grant. The Sibley County Developmental Achievement Center was awarded a $277,400 Community Reinvestment Grant in 2014 to establish a multi-sensory room to help improve the health, social well-being, and quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities and the elderly.

Lind expressed her appreciation to the county members, Sibley County Board and staff, for the effort the past few months to have South Country to reinstated as the provider for the government health care programs.

The Gaylord Hub

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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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