Eye On Boise

Seventy-five to 80 part-time state workers have dropped insurance since premium hike

Teresa Luna, chief of staff for the state Department of Administration, answers questions from Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, left, about the state's move to sharply increase premiums for health insurance for part-time state employees. Since the change in November, Luna said, 75 to 80 part-time workers have
Teresa Luna, chief of staff for the state Department of Administration, answers questions from Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, left, about the state's move to sharply increase premiums for health insurance for part-time state employees. Since the change in November, Luna said, 75 to 80 part-time workers have "declined coverage." (Betsy Russell)

Seventy-five to 80 part-time state employees have dropped health insurance since November, when the state sharply increased the costs for part-timers, state Department of Administration official Teresa Luna just told the Senate Commerce Committee. The panel is questioning her about a series of rule changes, including the one that increased premiums for family coverage from $103 a month to either $244 or $385 for part-timers, depending on how many hours they work. Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, asked Luna, "Have you calculated the possible increasing cost to the county indigent fund" to cover those workers once they're uninsured. Luna responded, "No, we did not do those calculations." She said the state is saving $2.7 million this year and an estimated $5 million next year by raising the premiums for part-timers. Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise, asked, "Where are the savings actually coming from? ... I think you just told us it would come from the ... part-time workers. Is that correct?" Luna said that's right. "Yes, those are the savings to the state, and being incurred by the part-timers."




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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