|By Laura Green, The Palm Beach Post, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Nationwide, states cover 92 percent of a state employee's health-care costs.
The share of annual premiums paid by
State employees in
"The health insurance plans that they are offered and that they enroll in are slightly more generous than in the other 48 states,"
The generosity of
The governor's office did not respond to requests for comment on the report or state funding priorities.
The state has also chosen to refuse federal money that would allow it to increase its income threshold and insure nearly 1 million more Floridians. The state is among about two dozen that have refused to expand the
If the state had agreed to expand its rules, the federal government would have paid the full cost to increase the eligibility level to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. That would raise the income threshold to$27,310 for a family of three.
In their analysis of health benefits for state employees, the researchers behind the report, did not consider salary or other benefits available to employees.
In some states, Schiff said, excellent benefits might be a trade-off for lower-than-average salaries.
But those who guess
Beyond the question of premium costs and the proportion that employees pay, researchers also considered what they called the "richness" of plans. That refers to how much of the cost of health-care employees are responsible for once they pay their premiums.
Researchers did not suggest that states ought to spend less on health care. They noted, however, that employee health benefits ranked second only to
While some states discourage employees from scheduling a bunch of costly doctor visits or tests by requiring them to meet a high deductible first,
In fact, more than half of state employees pay
"The larger families are charged exactly what a two-person family would be charged," Schiff said. "It tends to give a better incentive for enrollment to larger families. A larger family would be more likely to enroll in
Health-care advocates in
Researcher and data editor
(c)2014 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Visit The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) at www.palmbeachpost.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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