Keeping a close eye on Health Insurance recommendations

As you have seen in the news, there are ongoing meetings by legislative committees on ways prevent the nearly 50% increase in health insurance premiums for public school employees. We are watching closely for any recommendations that would impact State of Arkansas employees. We will update everyone as information becomes available.



3 thoughts on “Keeping a close eye on Health Insurance recommendations

  1. A teacher has started a petition on regarding keeping the increase down. I don’t understand exactly why teachers insurance has anything to do with state employees. Teachers are not state employees. I don’t want to see their insurance increased outrageously. With as many teachers as there are statewide, I would think they would be able to get reasonably priced group insurance. I guess don’t see the ties between state employees and teachers.

    • Debbie, first of all EBD manages health insurance for teachers as well as state employees. Second, they are generally required by law to have the SAME benefits & plan options (Gold & Bronze thru Health Advantage, Silver thru QualChoice) as state employees; the ONLY differences in coverage are (a) Medicare retiree drugs (we keep our coverage, retired teachers must take Part D) and (b) EAP for employees without insurance (we have that, the teachers don’t).

      Though the spin from EBD is the plan-design changes (higher copays, deductibles & coinsurance) were due to Obamacare, actually Obamacare *limited* those changes thru its guidelines for the “gold”, “silver” & “bronze” labels (though it DID require bringing doctor copays under the OOP cap). The REAL reason was to keep the school rate increase from being EVEN WORSE than it is — and because of the “parity” laws they HAD to impose the cuts on state employees instead of just raising rates. Look on the bright side: Those changes are why most of OUR premiums are just barely going up. (Thanks to Obamacare most private-sector plans are expected to go up significantly, though usually NOT as much as the teachers; their problem is more complex. Medicare retirees are seeing a higher increase mainly because retirees THEMSELVES preferred that over EBD’s original plan to impose copays on their doctor visits.)

      I’m sure ASEA’s main concern is to prevent the teacher fix from being used as an excuse to cut OUR benefits even MORE, since one major cause of the teachers’ problem is the legislature did NOT increase its contributions to their plan the way they have for OUR plan.

  2. Is there any chance or truth to the explanation that state employees’ benefit rates will go up to help subsidize the public school rates? I’ve read a few comments that some public school employees are fine with state employees paying more as a sort of retribution.

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