On Friday, August 25th the Policy and Planing Board for the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits will meet to consider an across the board premium increase of 6.15%. This rate increase would raise costs on all health plans offered to state employees, like public school teachers and support staff. This is the 6th consecutive rate increase, despite a growing and sufficient fund balance.
In fact, the OGB fund balance is already above the amount recommended by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA). According to the LLA, the recommended fund balance should be roughly $280 million. Currently, the OGB fund balance is $430.8 million. This is money that state agencies and state employees have paid into the system.
For the past three years, the actuaries have projected losses, but the fund balance has increased every year. The actual financials have proven that in the past 3 years, OGB fund balance has increased even though they projected losses.
So, why would the Board approve another rate hike, which will make it harder for teachers, school employees and other public servants to make ends meet? Join us in asking the Board to vote 'NO' on rate hikes this year!
Each year, teachers and school employees fight for meager pay increases at the Capitol, but these continual increases in insurance costs negate our progress towards competitive salaries for Louisiana's educators. In recent years, OGB rate increases have exceeded the pay raises that teachers and support staff have received. Now is not the time to put an added financial burden on our teachers and school support staff.