Insurance protest set for Oct. 6

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

It's no secret health insurance costs are going up just about everywhere these days.

And state government, where employees have long complained of high costs, is no different.

Personnel Cabinet Secretary Carol Palmore said last week rates will increase this year too, though the exact amount varies from policy to policy. For state employees who choose the lowest cost single coverage (no coverage for children or spouses) plan, Palmore said the state will continue to pay 100 percent.

But rising health insurance costs aren't something state employees are going to take lying down.

In October, employees are planning a rally to protest health insurance rates, which they claim are set to rise as much as $180 a month in some cases. The rally is set for 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 6, on the steps of the Capitol.

According to the David Jackson, president of the Kentucky Transportation Employees Association, this year the state will contribute $286.16 to an individual premium - corresponding to the Humana-PPO single family rate. Last year, the state contributed $269.44, making the increase about 3 percent.

That's not too bad, Palmore said, considering other entities around the country are seeing double-digit health insurance premium increases. According to a recently released study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust in Washington, D.C., premiums this year rose 13.9 percent.

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