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State insurance costs will increase by 9 percent

Aug 9, 2011 1:02:00 PM - thestate.com
The state Budget and Control Board voted unanimously today to increase the amount that state employees and their employers pay for their health insurance.

The 9 percent increase was spread equally among employees and employers, with a 4.5 percent increase for each.

State employees who only pay for their own health insurance will pay an extra 42 cents a month. State employees who also pay for their spouse’s health insurance will pay an extra $4.42 a month. State employees who also pay for their children's health insurance will pay an extra 20 cents a month. Employees who cover their entire family will pay an extra $4.44 a month.

State Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, along with Treasurer Curtis Loftis, tried unsuccessfully to cut state workers’ share of the increase to 3.5 percent. But Gov. Nikki Haley, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, and House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White, R-Anderson, voted that move down. Eckstrom and Loftis then joined in voted for the 4.5 percent increase for workers.

Haley said the increase will add to the state's reserves and reassure credit-rating agencies, which have given the state’s debt a negative outlook in light of the national debt crisis.

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