Study highlights cost of health insurance for state employees

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States are spending $31 billion a year on covering their workers

A new study from Pew Charitable Trusts shows that states have paid some $31 billion to ensure that their workers have health insurance coverage. The study is meant to offer some insight into the largest source of a state’s health care spending. Medicaid spending pales in comparison to the amount of money spent on keeping state workers covered through insurance plans. The amount of money being spent by states varies and is largely based on the insurance plans that are available to workers and what plans they chose.

State workers are typically covering 16% of the cost of their insurance premiums

According to the study, states spent an average of $808 per employee on health insurance premiums. On average, workers accounted for 16% of this premium, with the state taking the majority of the financial burden. Premiums for this coverage were lowest in the southern United States and higher in states with large populations and states with a large number of rural communities.

Many state health insurance plans do not have deductibles and are able to cover the majority of a policyholder’s medical costs

Health Insurance for employeesThe study shows that most plans were very effective in accommodating the needs of policyholders. Some 92% of a policyholder’s medical costs were covered by the insurance plan they had, on average. The study notes that some 45% of state employees throughout the country had plans that featured no deductible and that most plans could be considered “platinum” status, based on the ranking system of the country’s health insurance exchanges.

Age is a major factor in determining the cost of insurance coverage for state workers

Alaska is home to the highest premiums when it comes to coverage for the state’s employees. South Dakota features the lowest premiums in this regard. The study suggests that age plays a major role in the cost of this coverage. State employees are getting older and, as such, are beginning to experience more costly medical conditions. As the population ages, insurance costs rise, and this causes an inflation in premiums for those that are being covered.

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