State employees to pay more for health insurance

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009 6:26 PM
Last updated 7:23 PM
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ATLANTA — Georgians working for the state government can expect a 10 percent jump in the share of health-insurance premiums they pay after a unanimous vote Thursday by the Board of Community Health.

“This is basically to keep the plan solvent,” said the board’s chairman Richard Holmes.

The across-the-board premium increase, starting in 2010 for all state health plans, is aimed at heading off a projected $500 million deficit in the reserve fund used for paying claims. The premium increase also seeks to raise the employee’s share of the total cost of protection from 20 percent to 22 percent, slightly closer to the target of 25 percent set by policymakers.

The fund will still have a projected deficit of $75 million, according to the agency’s chief financial officer, Carie Summers. Gov. Sonny Perdue will decide about whether to ask the General Assembly to come up with the money to fill the deficit.

In addition to the premium boost, the board also agreed to raise certain other costs, such as the employee’s share of some prescriptions and the surcharge for employees who smoke.

Ms. Summers said the health plans were having to pay for increased utilization and also for a greater number of expensive claims over $100,000. The number of hospitalization days has decreased but their cost has risen, she said.

News of the premium hike didn’t sit well with at least one of the unions that represents some of the state’s workers.

“I don’t know what you could possibly say good about it,” said Dennis Hammock, director of the Atlanta regional office of the Service Employees International Union/National Association of Government Employees. “These benefits have increased, and the salaries have not. This is just added pressure.”

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vorpal
14
Points
vorpal 09/10/09 - 07:34 pm
0
0
Furlough, no pay increase in

Furlough, no pay increase in several years, increased work load, less to work with and now increased cost of "benefits."

I know, be happy you have a job and having a low paying job is better than having no job.

If we managed our household finances the way state governments and the federal government manage theirs, we would be in prison.

Government is trying to bankrupt the middle class on which everyone depends.

ga escapee
0
Points
ga escapee 09/10/09 - 07:38 pm
0
0
nothing but goverment trying

nothing but goverment trying to get over on us all. i have kids and family that work for the state and it seems they do what they want and never taking the cuts their self. they have it easy and the people that work hard for them and the state gets the shaft.

whyme
2002
Points
whyme 09/10/09 - 08:38 pm
0
0
Why does the state government

Why does the state government have to penalize its own employees for its mistakes and greed? The majority of folks that I work with are not highly paid as it is-it used to be a good thing to work for the government. And I agree 100% with vorpal. Maybe if those high paying employees down in Atlanta want to take some cuts, we wouldn't have to suffer. And let me tell you, the public will be suffering; we are already short-staffed where I work now and it is already affecting the community.

whyme
2002
Points
whyme 09/10/09 - 08:43 pm
0
0
I also remember back when I

I also remember back when I started with the state, the union was big on standing up for these kinds of changes. I wasn't a member and maybe people weren't keen on them, but they at least stood up to the big guys and got some stuff done.

enana031
0
Points
enana031 09/10/09 - 08:44 pm
0
0
Hard to swallow after just

Hard to swallow after just taking a furlough day with several more to come, no pay raises, a extended freeze on hiring, more work, more work, more work, with less manpower, less pay and less incentive to be a happy productive state worker. Yes, I am thankful to have a job, but would really appreciate a salary I could survive on.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 09/10/09 - 09:00 pm
0
0
vorpal I could not have said

vorpal I could not have said it better myself. Let's see how the government functions when they put all us paying members of society in the poor house. I was outraged to get a "FINAL BILL" from Doctor's the other day because being a state employee and all I could barely pay the full $100 ER copay. I paid half and agreed to pay off the other half. Since having a pay cut I was faithfully sending in $10 a month. When I called to complain I was told I should have called to set up a payment plan. [filtered word]!! I told the lady who had the bad luck to answer my call that at least I was PAYING my bill unlike the so called impoverish who come in on a nightly basis to receive free health care. Doctor's can forget about me ever coming to their institution considering I went BACK to the ER two months later at University on to discover my gall bladder had stones and my pancreas was inflammed. So I wasted a $100 co pay on a bunch of folks who couldn't tell what was wrong with me after being there for 4 hours.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 09/10/09 - 09:04 pm
0
0
whyme If the government would

whyme If the government would stop giving out all these handouts to the so called poor we would have money. A friend was two months ahead of me when I was pregnant. She already has THREE kids. Guess who paid for all their births/ WE DID! She does not work and lives off her grandmother. I am STILL paying for my childs birth and our stay in the hospital. I am not understanding how it is that I pay a family rate every month over 200 dollar and still owe $700 our of $900 yet she has NO bill at all and gets WIC. This is the real funny part I make "too much money" to get WIC.

mad_max
0
Points
mad_max 09/10/09 - 09:25 pm
0
0
We need to do away with WIC

We need to do away with WIC and all other welfare programs. My program would be WOS, WORK OR STARVE.

DEVGRU
0
Points
DEVGRU 09/10/09 - 09:30 pm
0
0
scoobynews, if your are so

scoobynews, if your are so jealous of your friend you need to quit your job and stop complaining. Sounds like your so called friend is a little smarter than you are.

guess who
0
Points
guess who 09/10/09 - 09:36 pm
0
0
this is what obama is going

this is what obama is going to stop

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 09/10/09 - 09:40 pm
0
0
1677 Let's see hummm you want

1677 Let's see hummm you want me to quit my job so that my fellow tax paying peers can support me and my family with EBT and WIC. Do YOU have a job because if you do then you will be the ONE paying for me to live? Now that sounds like a plan do you want an address so you can send me my check. I never once stated I hated my job and according to all the powers that be my middle class a$% should be so grateful I have one. You don't know me nor do you know how much my family struggles on ONE income due to a layed off husband. At least I am PAYING my bills unlike a lot of the freeloaders out here taking good old uncle sam for a ride. I can at least have my pride and that my friend is F R E E!!! BTW If my friend's dear old granny dies then guess what you will be paying a LOT more of her bills in the future too. You MUST be a DEM because they are the only ones that think we should "feed the world to make it a better place". Your funny you gave me a good laugh.

Waymore
103
Points
Waymore 09/10/09 - 10:00 pm
0
0
Well, I just want to know

Well, I just want to know when welfare recipients are going to get a "pay" cut? When are they going to be made to pay a co-pay when they go to the doctor; heck, when are they going to be made to make any kind of "premium" for their free health care? How is it the working man has to pay a premium, PLUS a co-pay? When are the "less fortunate" going to have to start paying something, anything?

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 09/10/09 - 10:12 pm
0
0
Better watch out Waymore...

Better watch out Waymore... According to these people on this board we working folks should just be darn happy we have a job. One were they are taking out up to 2000 a month for our money to go to cover our health plans and the welfare people. So I guess we best just suck it up and be so grateful next time we make that 200 premium payment AND that 30 co pay while the "lady" next to you with 5 kids leaves paying nothing.

CCR09
0
Points
CCR09 09/10/09 - 11:18 pm
0
0
WEll if that's the

WEll if that's the case..what's the big deal about healthcare? Everyone is complaining about their monthly premiums, but what you should be doing is paying it and shut up. You guys are satisfied with the status quo. It doesn't matter that the insurance companies are robbing everyone blind for the basic rights to be well. According to you guys, we are paying for everyone any way. So which is is??Let's complain about my 2000 premium or let's do something to change it.???Whoa is me..is all I hear. I pay a lot in healthcare. Whoa is me, but somebody is getting something for free...Whoa..Whoa..a bunch of cry babies...

Waymore
103
Points
Waymore 09/10/09 - 11:36 pm
0
0
DNMW...no...what is wrong as

DNMW...no...what is wrong as that workers pay their own premium PLUS the premium for those too lazy to get off their backs and get a job and stop pumping out babies they can't afford. Why shouldn't those getting free healthcare pay a co-pay? Why not pay a $20 flat premium a month. Maybe if they learned a little responsibility, they'd learn something. Nothing is FREE. someone pays. Just out of curiosity, are you one of the ones getting the freebie?

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 09/11/09 - 12:12 am
0
0
Sonny Perdue is the worst

Sonny Perdue is the worst governor ever. The state is controlled by the same repukes who despise healthcare reform and the president talking about education. People wake up the repukes are ruining this state.

55 F-100
1
Points
55 F-100 09/11/09 - 12:16 am
0
0
Thank you Sonny Perdue for

Thank you Sonny Perdue for your unwillingness to abort your stupid "Fish Georgia" initiative to the tune of several million dollars. You are indeed as foolish and clueless as the muslim in the White House. It will be a blessing when you exit the Gold Dome, and when the U.S. citizens send the Obama family back to their Oprah/Chicago Mafia family in 2012.

jcsorobert
0
Points
jcsorobert 09/11/09 - 07:14 am
0
0
How's that hope and change

How's that hope and change working out for everybody???

corgimom
34210
Points
corgimom 09/11/09 - 08:21 am
0
0
"Furlough, no pay increase in

"Furlough, no pay increase in several years, increased work load, less to work with and now increased cost of "benefits." You aren't the only ones. Join the club. Scoobynews, don't listen to that nonsense, if you are making payments and they are accepting them, you cannot be taken to collections, and if they do, you can sue them. And scooby, gall stones can be tricky. They block, make you sick, then move when they go to check them. I was diagnosed with gall stones in 1980, my gall bladder didn't have to be removed until 2002. Hope you are feeling better, just thank God you didn't die, it can be very serious.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 09/11/09 - 09:45 am
0
0
Thanks Corgimom! I was highly

Thanks Corgimom! I was highly ticked when I got that in the mail and even though I knew they legally could not turn it over because I had proof it was getting paid it still ticked me off. You try to do the right thing and pay off your bills while others go in and get the same services for free or just don't give a dang about another bill they are not going to pay. With the gallstones I had an x ray in emergancy at Doctor's in May then a doctor's visit and sonogram in June. It was not until July after $100 ER visit and a $30 co pay that I finally got admitted to have it removed. I am glad it is GONE!

waugusta92
0
Points
waugusta92 09/13/09 - 07:49 pm
0
0
first of all, the majority of

first of all, the majority of people who receive these "hand-outs" are individuals who bust their a** working at low paying jobs and still can't make ends meet. there is a small percentage of people who sit on their behinds scheming to get handouts, trust me. and a good lot of them get caught and are banned from these programs.
jcso, this doesn't have squat to do with obama. ignorance is rampant in the AC.

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