A strong coalition of 10 unions began health insurance negotiations with the State of Minnesota this month. Our goal is health care that state employees and their families can afford to use, says chief negotiator Jo Pels.
The state reports that premiums will increase $104 million over the next two years—and the employer wants to shift $72 million of that increase onto state employees. That’s unacceptable.
The high cost of coverage is driven by the insurance industry and pharmaceutical giants, not by our overuse of medical care.
The employer proposes increasing our premiums in 2018. For example, singles would have to pay $66.48 each month instead of $33.24. Families would have to pay $324.53 a month instead of $226.77.
Under this proposal, the employer shifts $32.4 million onto state employees, making health care unaffordable for many of us.
Worse yet, the employer would also shift an additional $39.4 million onto state employees by increasing our out-of-pocket costs and our copays for prescription drugs and office visits.
Clearly, there’s a disconnect between the employer’s disrespectful proposal and Governor Dayton’s respectful budget, which funds our wages and benefits.
Our health insurance plan covers 143,546 lives. Every one of those people matter to us. Rest assured our union coalition won’t leave anyone behind when we return to the table to bargain health care on May 24-25.