Many teachers will soon have access to substantial savings on health care costs thanks to a new bill that passed the State House of Representatives last night. The bill, which the State Senate had already passed and Governor Malloy indicated he will sign, gives Local Associations the option of joining the state employee health care plan.
Local Associations that choose to join the state employee health care plan will be able to share risk with a much larger pool of state and municipal employees — which will help to hold down premium costs. Costs in many towns are currently unnecessarily inflated due to the small size of employee pools.
While typical premium costs for Local Associations have increased 12 to 18 percent a year for fiscal years 2011-15, the state plan’s premium cost did not increase at all in fiscal years 2011-14 and only increased by four percent in 2014-15. The state health care plan also has co-payments that are lower than those of most Local Association plans.
This new health care pooling law will greatly benefit teachers and local towns, which will finally have a means by which to combat increasing health insurance costs. The savings to local taxpayers that would come from allowing educators to pool their health insurance risk with other municipal and state employees could potentially be over a million dollars for some larger Connecticut towns.