State employee health insurance rates set to increase

State employees and retirees could see health insurance rate hikes ranging from 15 percent to more than 50 percent in 2024, according to Thursday’s Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEBP) board meeting documents. 

A report for the meeting indicates that state subsidies for health insurance are projected to be less than lawmakers budgeted because of lower enrollment. PEBP is also receiving less administrative money than it requested.

Specifically, the benefits program requested increases of 5 percent for medical, 8 percent for pharmacy and 2 percent for dental during the 2023 legislative session. However, the governor’s recommended budget for the state agency only allocated a 3.91 percent increase for medical, a 3.67 percent increase for pharmacy and a 2 percent increase for dental.

At a time of rising medical costs, any extra expenses to PEBP will be borne by employees and retirees on the state insurance plan.