State employees to pay more for Georgia health insurance

State employees in Georgia will be paying an extra $135 next year for health benefits after the Board of Community Health approved a premium rate hike. The board voted unanimously Thursday to increase the employee premiums by an average of 5 percent. Members of the plan can expect to pay […]

State employees in Georgia will be paying an extra $135 next year for health benefits after the Board of Community Health approved a premium rate hike.

The board voted unanimously Thursday to increase the employee premiums by an average of 5 percent.

Members of the plan can expect to pay an average of $11.33 more per month, said Jeffrey Rickman, Georgia Department of Community Health executive director. The premiums vary based on the available plans to each member.

The employee contribution rate to the plan remains about 29.5 percent, which the board also unanimously voted to maintain Thursday.

The plan provides health care coverage for Georgia legislators, teachers, school employees, other state employees and certain retirees.

The premiums will cover new perks for members, including a case management program for employees with rare conditions. The program will extend pharmacy care for state employees with ALS, cystic fibrosis and Parkinson’s and Crohn’s disease.

“The end goal of the program is to improve clinical outcomes by following a care plan, and in turn, not only keep our members healthy but also reducing [emergency room] and hospital costs,” Rickman said.

The state also will offer diabetes management classes, a price down-tiering program for insulin and mental health and other wellness programs.

Premiums were increased last in 2018 by 3.7 percent.

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