- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas employees will be faced with higher deductibles and premiums under the state’s new health insurance plan.

Enrollment for the 2016 health plans begin next month. State workers will get to choose between two providers, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, each of which will offer two coverage plans: Plan A and Plan C.

According to the Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/1O8ej0u ), Plan A premiums will increase slightly, but workers on Plan C will see premiums nearly triple.

Deductibles will increase across the board.

The annual deductible for a family on Plan C will increase from $5,200 to $5,500. A single worker on the same plan will see his or her deductible increase from $2,600 to $2,750. Single state workers on Plan A will see their deductibles increase from $300 to $400 and those on family plans will see a jump of $600 to $800.

State Sen. Laura Kelly, a Democrat from Topeka, accuses Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration of pulling a bait and switch with state employees.

“Two years ago I switched to Plan C - as I’m sure many others did - because it was the best offered. It now feels like the Brownback administration is pulling a ‘bait and switch’ with state employees,” Kelly said. “They were enticed by the low, unsustainable premiums that are now doubling or nearly tripling. Most state employees haven’t had any pay increase since 2009, making this premium increase particularly cruel.”

However, Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick places the blame on the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

“Since the passage of Obamacare, Americans across the country have seen their rates increase,” he said. “Sadly, this is the latest example of how Obamacare is hurting Kansans and why we must continue to fight expanding Obamacare in Kansas.”

According to the state health department web site, state workers will also no longer be covered for certain prescription drugs if there is a preferred alternative or generic equivalent available.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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