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Local agent decries loss of county business to Cobb County firm

By Walter Geiger A local businessman is upset about being replaced as Lamar County’s insurance agent of record by a Cobb County firm that previously had no ties to the community. Al Adamson of Main Street Advisors has been the county’s health insurance agent of record for the past five years. Earlier this year, the county awarded that designation to Shaw-Hankins of Marietta. Adamson asked for and received permission to still bid on the insurance business and did so. Those bids were received by the commission at two called meetings on June 1 and June 3. Both Adamson and his competitor bid proposals based on policies issued by Blue Cross Blue Shield. At the June 1 bid meeting, Adamson’s bid was lower by two percent – approximately $17,000. Yet two days later, Shaw-Hankins won the business. ’The county rule used to be that, if a local businessman was within five percent, he got the business. I guess that is not the case any more. For the past five years, I have gone out and personally enrolled (county employees),’ Adamson said at the time. Adamson was back at the county commission meeting June 22 to register his displeasure. ’You gave the business to a firm from Cobb County that entered bids two percent higher than that which I already had on your desks. You basically allowed them to match my offer. I personally have a problem with that. You took my rates and gave the business to an out of town firm. I want to bring that to the public’s attention,’ Adamson told the commissioners. No one responded. The county health insurance pool consists of 114 people. Several in recent months have had ongoing serious illnesses that impacted rates. The county has budgeted $853,111.76 for insurance and base plan coverage has decreased. ’The base plan they agreed to is horrible. They added $50,000 to the budget to help people buy up to a better plan,’ Adamson said Thursday. Next to payroll, health, dental and vision insurance is the highest annual expense item for the county.

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