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Health Insurance Rates Increase July 1, 2009

The greatest contention is over the self-insured benefits and premiums for the HMSA PPO medical insurance coverage.  These interim rates are approximately 23% higher than this year’s rates.  Also, the Governor has indicated that the employer will not continue to pay 60% of the premiums.  The just approved legislative budget continues to provide the EUTF with the same funding as it received last year.  The impact will be that any increase in premiums will be borne totally by the public employee beneficiaries of the fund.  This will likely take the percentage of the rates paid by the employer and the employee from 60-40% to a level close to 50-50%.  You can estimate your costs by taking half of the total premium for each of the health insurance coverage listed.  The Kaiser premium has increased by approximately 6%.  The Governor’s current position in bargaining is to eliminate all employer contributions for the medical chiropractic coverage, dental and vision insurance coverage.  This means the employees would have to pay the entire cost.  However, these interim rates will continue the employer’s current contribution amounts.  The EUTF will accept requests from employees to change coverage from HMSA to Kaiser during this interim period if the higher interim rates are too burdensome.  You should send those requests directly to the EUTF.  The letter and tables from the EUTF Administrator explains the new rates during the interim period.  The employer’s contribution remains an issue in negotiations with HGEA, UPW, HSTA, and UHPA. 

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