Palo Pinto County commissioners opted to change medical insurance coverage for dependents, effective Oct. 1. Commissioners voted to require any county employee's dependent who has access to group medical insurance through an employer to use that insurance. Those dependents would not be covered by county insurance. "There will be no grandfathered insurance," said County Judge David Nicklas. "They will not be eligible for county insurance." County Auditor Steve Watson told commissioners it could save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical insurance premiums. In another matter, justices of the peace discussed the cash deposit policy of the county. With First State bank changed ownership this month, JPs will be limited in where they can make deposits. The county has a contract with First State, but that expires two days before the change of ownership and there is only one other bank the county uses - Comanche National Bank. Under state law, there are two requirements of deposits - one allows for a 15-day delay in making a deposit, the other requires a daily deposit. "State law now allows us five days to make a deposit," began Precinct 5 JP Bobby hart. "Commissioners court can extend that to 15 days. People come to our window who live out of their pockets." He said they have no bank accounts, no debit cards and don't purchase money orders or cashiers checks. "There are certain times we cannot refuse to take cash money," he added.


Hart explained that over the first part of this year, his office has accepted $81,000 in cash, which far exceeded other forms of payment. "It's a 50-mile round trip for me," said Precinct 3 JP Shawn Humphries. "We as JPs are not going to be able to go daily," Hart said.