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Health insurance increases loom for state workers

June 17, 2013 • State News

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 as government struggled with tight budgets. But the fund covering health benefits was projected to be almost $70 million in the red next year if the state did nothing to the insurance program to deal with rising health care costs.

“That’s why we had to make these drastic changes to stay solvent,” said A. J. Forte, director of the Risk Management Division, which serves as the state’s insurance company for health care, unemployment compensation for government workers and for liability claims.

To help stop the financial bleeding, premiums are increasing for workers and governmental employers. Health care plans were revamped to require employees to pay more for medical services. Login to read more

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