Ga. state health plan faces $250 million shortfall

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 11:56 AM
Last updated 5:16 PM
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ATLANTA — A $250 million hole in the state's health benefits program means insurance premiums for Georgia state employees, retirees and school personnel could rise sharply.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the costs could rise by as much as 67 percent for those employees if the state makes up the recently discovered shortfall using only premium increases.

House Speaker David Ralston told the newspaper Tuesday that House leadership learned last week about the shortfall in the $3 billion program. The hole will happen in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The State Health Benefit Plan insures 692,000 state workers, agency retirees and dependents, as well as school system employees. Employees now pay about 25 percent of the cost while the government covers the other 75 percent.

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clumber
43
Points
clumber 03/09/11 - 02:15 pm
0
0
The line should read

The line should read "Employees now pay about 25 percent of the cost while the TAXPAYERS cover the other 75 percent."

Sweet son
9661
Points
Sweet son 03/09/11 - 02:30 pm
0
0
clumber, I take it you took

clumber, I take it you took one of the lucrative private sector jobs for the paycheck and not the retirement or other benefits. Others chose to be government employees with less pay and better benefits. Why didn't you? Probably too late now!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 03/09/11 - 02:37 pm
0
0
Government employees get less

Government employees get less pay? Maybe 35 years ago but that is far from true today.

Generous benefits, lifetime pensions, tenure, etc. all ensure that govt employee's total compensation package far exceed the private sector.

While American's were busy watching MTV, buying houses they couldn't afford, buying things they couldn't afford, driving their new Mercedes Benz, the govt was busy as a little beaver increasing their size and their perks at taxpayer expenses.

We were asleep then but we have woken up. And we demand that it be fixed.

socks99
250
Points
socks99 03/09/11 - 03:00 pm
0
0
A noted critic of state

A noted critic of state government places GA's unfunded mandates -- like health costs of retirees -- at $59 billion!

The GA Gen. Assembly either doesn't know what it is facing, is afraid to 'alarm' the taxpayers, or is hoping Deal's first session is a quiet affair.

The media, private bloggers, and concerned citizens ought to begin digging into state obligations on such things as general and revenue bonds; pension obligations, health care obligations; and on and on.

It'd should be clear to MOST citizens that our current crop of lawmakers -- including Nathan Deal -- are not up to the task of placing GA on a steady course. Apparently they still believe the first job of a GA pol is to figure out a way to use his or her position to enrich himself; the interests of the citizens they are supposed to represent are far down on the list of concerns.

Questioning
7
Points
Questioning 03/09/11 - 04:26 pm
0
0
Clumber, make that 30% and

Clumber, make that 30% and let's not forget the 35% mandatory contribution to our retirement, oh yeah, and the $60 a month just to park your car. Add into that mix three years of no pay raises, so state employees are making less today than they did 3 years ago. There has yet to be a year go by when our health insurance did not increase. Furthermore, without these state employees there would be serious consequences for Georgia and the people who live here. Let's say things like...education, for all ages...healthcare...

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 03/09/11 - 05:31 pm
0
0
The Communist Party is alive
Unpublished

The Communist Party is alive and well in Georgia. We here in the northern Atlanta suburbs call them democrats.

db16
95
Points
db16 03/09/11 - 10:21 pm
0
0
Reality is this

Reality is this folks...Government @ the Highest Level is Crooked as Mr. Scoliosis! The folks at the bottom of that totem pole, Educators, are the ones who take a majority of the heat, blame and are most visible. Educators are, along with Law Enforcement, the most underpaid, underappreciated profession in the United States. Education requires College Education (Bachelors Degree Minimum) to hold a position. There is no such thing as Tenure in Education...that is the OLD SCHOOL! Salaries have remained stagnant for years, pay raises are non existent, healthcare benefits have gone up...and I hate to burst your bubble, but Educators Salaries are funded by Taxpayers and Federal Funds. Educators are also Taxpayers...so when the Taxpayer base falls, Educators are the first ones hit in the pockets. Educators work more with much less...where else is that going on in Corporate America today? When in doubt, or when faced with a financial hardship, cut Education!! Wait and see how that turns out for you in about 10 years...It won't be pretty and this snowball is gaining speed and size...Pull up your chair, sit back and watch this Trainwreck people!

clumber
43
Points
clumber 03/10/11 - 01:57 pm
0
0
Sweet son; "not for personal

Sweet son; "not for personal attacks"

Todd
0
Points
Todd 03/13/11 - 02:59 pm
0
0
I have a difficult time

I have a difficult time understanding why the Stat Health Benefit beneficiaries should expect a 65%+ increase in premiums when United Healthcare the primary administrator of the benefit program show on their annual report that revenues are up 8% over last year and net earnings are up 21% over last year to $4,634,000,000. Return on equity up 18.7% over 2009. At what cost to State Budgets, beneficiaries and providers are we willing to pay for their profits when reimbursements to providers are 60% BELOW current Medicare allowed amounts. Can someone help me understand?

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