Ga. state health plan faces $250 million shortfall

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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