After this year’s increase in health care expenses for thousands of state employees, the State of Iowa’s next health insurance contract does not include an increase in out-of-pocket expenses for state workers.
“It’s pretty much status quo,” Department of Administrative Services director Janet Phipps said.
Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is providing coverage to about 21,000 workers this year. Wellmark was the only company to submit a bid to provide health insurance for state employees in 2019 and 2020.
“The plan design, all of those things remain the same,” Phipps said, “co-pays, co-insurance, value-added programs — all of those.”
This year, about 54,000 state employees and their dependents got health care coverage through the state. In 2016, state employees paid $20 a month for single and family health insurance plans. After collective bargaining changes Republicans made in 2017, that monthly fee was doubled for to $40 for individual in-state health insurance plans and $150 a month for an in-state family plan. A more expensive national option was available as well.
None of the monthly requirements in place now will not change in 2019 under the contract approved Monday by the state’s Executive Council.
State employees who get dental insurance will see what Phipps describes as a “very modest” one-and-a-half percent increase in their 2019 premiums to Delta Dental.