Health insurance increases loom for state workers

Posted at: 06/17/2013 1:22 PM
By: Barry Massey, The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - More than 30,000 state and local government workers face a 15 percent increase for their health care insurance starting next month, but it could be only the beginning of higher costs as New Mexico's self-insurance program digs out of a financial hole.

There have been no premium increases for workers for the past five years when government budgets were squeezed. Yet, the fund covering health benefits was projected to be almost $70 million in the red in the upcoming budget year if the state did nothing to the insurance program to deal with rising health care costs.

To help stop the financial bleeding, premiums are going up and health plans were revamped, including raising deductibles.

Risk Management Director A. J. Forte says another round of premium increases is needed.

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