Teachers Angered by Proposed Premium Hikes
Teachers in the Santa Ana Unified School District are decrying a proposal to raise health insurance premiums, by as much as $800 per month, the Los Angeles Times reports.
District officials said they are spending $66 million on health insurance this year, a 20% increase since last year, with the majority of spending going toward a Blue Cross of California PPO plan. Many districts in California are experiencing financial constraints, as state funding has been reduced because of declining enrollment and health care costs have continued to climb.
Officials said the proposal is intended to illustrate how much the district is paying in rising costs, particularly for the PPO plan, which most teachers use.
Teachers currently pay $5 per month for an individual, $15 for two adults and $45 for a family to receive their choice of a Kaiser Permanente HMO, Blue Cross HMO or Blue Cross PPO plan. However, district officials late last year proposed offering the Kaiser HMO plan at no cost and the Blue Cross HMO plan at the current monthly rate.
The proposal also would increase the PPO premiums:
- From $5 to $265 for an individual;
- From $15 to $579 for two adults; and
- From $45 to $844 for a family.
The teachers have been working since July 1 without a salary and benefits contract, yet the two sides agreed to return to the bargaining table next week, when the teachers union is expected to offer a counterproposal (Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 2/23). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.