Heath Care Changes For Public School Employees

New changes to school employee’s health care plans means a loss of coverage for many.

Lawmakers held a special session this week in Little Rock after premiums went up this year.

Spouses are now unable to obtain benefits if they can get insurance through their own employer.

In addition, part time school employees are unable to get insurance through the school.

“It`s going to be a little bit problematic,” said Alma School Superintendent David Woolly.

Woolly expressed concern for part time employees such as a bus driver.

Representative Greg Leding of Fayetteville said insuring a part time employee, such as a bus driver, is expensive.

“We moved 4,000 part time employees off the plan,” Ledding said. “Which is something a lot of us weren`t happy about us doing. I don`t think anybody was completely satisfied with the legislation. It was just something we had to do.”

Leding said it’s a short term fix but premiums would have skyrocketed this year if the change was not added.

“We knew that we had to act quickly if we didn`t teachers were going to see their premiums go up by as much as 35 percent this year,” Leding said.

Leding said that 35 percent is expected now to be a three percent increase.

“We all want good quality affordable health insurance that’s important to everybody,” Woolly said.

The change also puts a limit on how much the state can pay for an insured employee to have weight loss surgery.


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