ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia plans to spend about $114 million to restore some benefits to the health plan covering teachers and state employees.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/1lh31ZM ) the Department of Community Health's board voted Monday to revert back to offering small co-payments for health services and drugs to the 650,000 state workers, retirees and dependents covered by the plan.
The agency changed the plan last year to end the co-payments in an effort to save the state money. Teachers and state workers argued they would be forced to pay higher out-of-pocket costs starting Jan. 1.
They put pressure on Gov. Nathan Deal, who is up for re-election this year, to fix the problem. Money for the co-payments is coming of reserve funds for the state's $3 billion health plan.
"We heard our state employees and teachers and we listened," Deal said in a statement. "I appreciate the board and the commissioner's willingness to work with me on a timely solution."
The governor's office said co-pays will become effective March 14, but will be applied retroactively to Jan. 1.
Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com