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State to looking at merging school health care plans

Published February 07. 2014 05:01PM

A resolution sponsored by Senator David G. Argall (R-29) to review cost-savings associated with merging school district health care plans received the unanimous approval of the Senate EducationCommittee on Tuesday.

Senate Resolution 250 would task the Legislative Budget and FinanceCommittee with studying the costs associated with consolidating health care plans for public school employees across thestate.

Specifically, the study will look at the cost of current health care plans and the cost of the current benefits over the next five years. The report will also examine the cost of regionalizing health care plans compared to one overall state plan for all school employees and provide the anticipated administrative, technological and staffing costs associated with implementing such reforms, including the impact of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

A study in 2004 highlighted over $800 million in annual savings.

The bipartisan Senate Government Management and Cost Study Commission found that a statewide system of benefits would provide significant reductions to a majority of school districts across the state.

Argall noted that the goal is not to harm current public school employees, but to pool resourcestogether to get a betterproduct at a lower cost.

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