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Health benefit cuts planned for La. state workers

4 years 7 months 4 hours ago Friday, July 18 2014 Jul 18, 2014 July 18, 2014 11:34 AM July 18, 2014 in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Melinda Deslatte

BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is raising health insurance rates and cutting benefits for state employees and retirees, to keep their insurance program solvent.

A general outline of program changes was presented Friday to the Legislature's joint budget committee, which has raised concerns about the Office of Group Benefits' hemorrhaging of cash.

The Office of Group Benefits provides health care coverage for 230,000 public employees, retired workers and their dependents.

The Jindal administration has spent down the office's reserve fund and would be unable to cover costs without changing the structure of the program.

A 5 percent premium hike for employees took effect July 1 to help stabilize the program. Ruth Johnson, with the governor's Division of Administration, said benefit cuts are planned as well, like new limits on medications.

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