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Health Insurance Costs Rising For Some Kansas State Workers


Certain health insurance options for state workers in Kansas will more than double in cost next year.

Rebecca Proctor with the Kansas Organization of State Employees says employees on the lower end of the pay scale often choose a plan with cheaper premiums and a higher deductible. Those plans will see the largest increase, with one option jumping from $50 per paycheck to more than $130.

“It’s huge, and that’s how it has to be looked at is in perspective of what these people earn per hour," Proctor says. "How many hours of work does it take just to pay that increased amount on the premium?”

Several coverage plans are available, and new figures show costs will more than double for some high-deductible plans. Proctor says many state workers haven’t seen a raise in several years, so the cost increase amounts to a pay cut.

Officials with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment say health care costs have been increasing nationwide. Sara Belfry, a spokeswoman for the Kansas health department, says in recent years, the state has been able to shield workers from higher prices by using reserve funds.

“Because we have really used up the reserve funding, we’re no longer able to utilize that funding to continue to keep the costs down for employees,” Belfry says.