More questions about insurance 'fix' | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, June 29, 2014

More questions about insurance 'fix'

Posted By on Sun, Jun 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM

One problem with these agreed-on special legislative sessions is that thousands of people affected by the agreements don't know what they mean until it's too late. See the school health insurance proposal.

I think of that this morning in reading a special session advance story on Stephens Media  about the "fix" for school employees insurance. Sen. Jim Hendren, who's been leading the group that produced the agreed-on legislation — which will be approved without any of the customary discussion or input from the public at a legislative session — is pleased that the deal means only a 3 percent premium increase in school insurance.

Yes, but ….

Has anybody seen a fact sheet on the new deductibles and co-pays? If you add thousands of dollars a year in deductibles and co-pays for people who use the insurance, you've added punishing increases in cost, premium increase or no premium increase.

Moral on school employee insurance: Don't get sick.

Message for the 4,000 part-time school workers who'll lose insurance (unlike the part-time legislators who get to keep their richly funded taxpayer-provided Cadillac coverage): Better start now lobbying legislators like Hendren to re-authorize the private option expansion of Medicaid. Hendren himself has said that's a good option for those being tossed off the state plan. It is but a small complication that Hendren has vowed never to vote for the private option and its reapproval is in peril on account of recent elections.

This is no fix.

PS — I invite you to look at existing rate tables to see the unfair difference between coverage for school employees and other state employees. The special session fix will do little to narrow this gap.

Simple comparison  is the monthly rate for just an employee — no spouse or children — for the bronze, silver and gold levels of coverage.

State employee (this means legislators): $0 (yes, zero); $63 and $97.

School employée: $11, $173 and $249.

Look fair to you?

One more comparison, just for fun:

Gold coverage for an employee and family costs a state employee (think state legislator) $280 $424 a month. It costs a school employee $1,133 a month. Next time a legislator bitches about his low pay, keep this sweet perk in mind.


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation