Your Opinion: Plan punishes state employees

Dear Editor:

Our family has incurred a $264/month loss in the past five years due to rising premiums and, therefore, cafeteria plan elections due to poor benefit designs. Of this per month loss $220 was incurred in 2011 alone sending our family into a state of panic.

If Missouri Consolidated Healthcare gets its way we will incur an additional $123/month loss in 2012. We have done everything to reduce our monthly budget and have always lived within our means, but with a family of seven, this is a huge loss in income and something that’s not right. In essence, Missouri state employees are being punished for working while raising children by getting charged per child, suddenly.

All taxpayers should take notice of what the state pays in premiums, to its self-insured MCHCP, in comparison to what other states pay. No pay increase and significantly increased premiums, along with expensive benefit plans, equal families that can’t afford to work. And now MCHCP is looking to possibly increase premiums by another 75 percent in 2012.

In addition, other states are giving premium reduction incentives for employees who do not smoke or are not obese, in some cases. And I have found that a lot of state plans are managed by a division within state government, not managed by their self-insured-contractor with a blank check.

See http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14345 for more information on comparing state government benefits and comparing state portion of premiums to other midwestern states.

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