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Oklahoma health plan rates hold steady

State agencies will not face significantly higher costs to fund benefits for 2011.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: September 2, 2010

The state's Employees Benefits Council on Wednesday approved revised rates for HMO health insurance plans available to state employees and their families.

The revisions came after the state Supreme Court last week ruled legislation passed earlier this year creating a 1 percent fee on insurance claims paid by providers was unconstitutional. The revised rates will replace rates the council announced last month.

For 2011, state employees and their families may choose health coverage from three HMO providers: CommunityCare, GlobalHealth and PacifiCare. Employees may also choose HealthChoice, the state-run, self-insured indemnity plan.

As a new added benefit required by the recent federal health care legislation, employees who choose an HMO in 2011 also will receive a variety of preventive care services at no cost.

Because the benefit allowance, or employer contribution, will be only 0.07 percent higher for 2011, state agencies struggling with budget cuts will not face significantly higher costs. Agencies are required to fund the benefit allowance for all active employees but don't get extra appropriations to fulfill that obligation. The lack of a significant increase in employer benefit costs in 2011 should help protect jobs and reduce the need for furloughs and other cuts, officials said.


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