The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports most state employees will pay slightly higher monthly premiums next year if they get their health insurance through the State of Iowa.

Officials expect about 54,000 state employees and their eligible dependents to be covered by one of two plans offered by Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Under one option, called Iowa Choice, an employee will start paying seven percent of the premium costs for an individual plan next year and 10 percent of the premium for a family plan.

Under the National Choice plan, a state employee will start paying 15 percent of the premium on an individual policy. The cost for a family plan under the National Choice option will remain the same, with an employee paying 17 percent of the monthly premium.

The Gazette reports the state Executive Council approved the higher premium costs on a two-to-one vote. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald voted no. He objected to having employees pay more for their health care benefits in a year when families are trying to navigate the pandemic.