Tweaks to health program will cost state, schools
BATON ROUGE - By lessening the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration gave itself and school boards a new budget headache.
The administration's latest plan for the Office of Group Benefits is scheduled to take effect March 1. It reduced intended increases in out-of-pocket costs and deductibles for active employees and did away with those price hikes altogether for retirees.
In exchange, health insurance premium costs will rise by an estimated 11 percent in the budget year that begins July 1.
Premium hikes are shared between employees and employers. That means insurance costs for state agencies and 44 local school boards will grow by $94 million next year.
School boards are seeking help from the state to cover their $38 million projected share.
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