While most employees are paying at least 9-10% more for health insurance this year, the state's Group Insurance Commission is holding rate increases to just over 3%. The GIC is holding down premiums by keeping administrative expenses essentially flat, finding more ways to manage patient care and by increasing or beginning co-payments for a range of services. GIC director Dolores Mitchell says she hopes the changes make patients more aware of how much health care costs.
"That’s part of what co-pays and deductibles are intended to be. To raise people’s consciences that they are getting very expensive services and to at least think about it. But I don’t want to make it a barrier that keeps people from getting the care that they should get."
The GIC covers more than 300,000 state employees and their dependents. There’s a push from some municipal leaders to save money by moving their workers into the program.
This program aired on April 6, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.