Teachers to pay more for health insurance coverage

By Sherea Harris

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Health insurance rates are increasing. The money isn't available in the State Education Trust Fund to cover the increase for employees. So education officials say the only solution is for the increase is for it come from the employees' pockets.

Hence, many people upset.

The proposal calls for single employees to pay twenty dollars more a month and married employees to pay sixty dollars more.

Members of the American Federation of Teachers say that's too much.

"Some of our employees make $13,000 a year. How are they going to be able to afford sixty dollars a month and one hundred dollars for medication," said Vi Parramore with AFT. "Medical procedures will go up, it's not the time to do this."

"Some of these people would not have jobs, so it's better to pay a little out of pocket for health insurance than it would be not to have a job," said Dr. Paul Hubbert with the Public Education Employee Health Insurance Program.

Dr. Hubbert says there hasn't been an insurance rate hike since 1983 for education employees in Alabama.

Hubbert says he will recommend a lower increase to the PEEHIP board.

This proposal will be discussed on next Thursday by the board and possibly voted on at that time.

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