No Health Insurance Rate Increase for Kansas State Employees

The Kansas Employees Health Care Commission voted last Monday, June 3, to reduce the health insurance rates for state employees.

According to an article published by KSHB, the commission will increase its contribution to the state insurance fund by 4.5%, while state employees will only pay a flat rate of 6% for plans for spouses, families and retirees.

Although this news can spark joy for state employees, there are also few that fears a massive increase in 2021. It could be recalled that former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has reduced the contributions by 8.5% in 2015 but gravely imposed an increase of about 36.7% the following year. Employees in 2016 are required to pay for a whopping 31.7% contribution to health insurance for spouses and families.

A Republican elected Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt said, “There was no way an employee could have begun to plan for those types of increases.”

Meanwhile, President of the Kansas Organization of State Employees Sarah LaFrenz is positive about this news saying, “This is an excellent start to checking the years of out-of-control increases in health insurance provided to State of Kansas employees by their employer as a benefit.”

In addition to the flat rate for health insurance, the employee commission also approved savings for employees using a high-deductible plan. When the deductible amount is met, state employees will only pay 10% of health costs instead of the 20% rate.

Moreover, if state employees leave the job, they can still keep their health insurance through the end of the month. This is a big change compared to what’s the norm during former Gov. Brownback time when employees lost their insurance on the day the employment ends.

When changes are applied, it is expected that there will be a reserve balance increase of about $52 million in 2020.