- Associated Press - Saturday, August 13, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Thousands of Kansas government employees would face rising health insurance premiums under fee schedules developed for 2017, according to state documents.

The State Employee Health Plan administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is applicable to workers throughout state government and includes people employed at public universities and colleges.

Under basic health policies available through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and Aetna, monthly rates for individual policies with low- and high-deductible plans would rise 9 percent. The monthly cost of health insurance for state workers in the employee-and-children plans would also increase 9 percent, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (https://j.mp/2bb8J1i).

Insurance rates for full-time workers also increased during the 2016 year.

Documents circulated to state employees indicated enrollment in a plan allowing enrollment of a spouse would be pay $90 more each month in 2017 for coverage in Aetna’s low-deductible option. The monthly cost in 2017 of BCBS’s high-deductible policy for worker and spouse would be $40 more each month.

“When you think about what state employees earn, that’s a huge increase,” said Rebecca Proctor, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees.

Cassie Sparks, a spokeswoman for the state’s health agency, said the cost of vision insurance through the state for these employees would remain flat.

“Health care costs and insurance premiums continue to increase across the nation,” Sparks said. “The Kansas Health Care Commission looked at state plan utilization and trends to determine the necessary plan and contribution adjustments necessary for both the employer and the employee.”

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com


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