State employees protest proposed health insurance changes

BOSTON – A union representing state employees is asking the Legislature to reconsider Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to increase health insurance premiums for some employees.

“Shifting these additional costs onto the backs of state workers who have sacrificed greatly, and given back consistently throughout the fiscal crisis, is not the answer,” wrote David Holway, president the National Association of Government Employees, in a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian Dempsey, D-Haverhill.

The budget Baker, a Republican, proposed on Wednesday counts on saving the state $125 million from changes made through the Group Insurance Commission, the organization that provides health insurance for state and municipal employees and retirees.

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Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-oriented fiscal policy group, said the increase in premium co-pays to 25 percent is not unreasonable compared to private sector health plans. “Employees are being asked to pay more, but what they’re asked to pay is in line with the private sector,” McAnneny said

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