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Capitol Digest

posted Apr 10, 2013, 8:08 AM by Unknown user
 | (Mason City) Globe Gazette | April 9, 2013

Terry Branstad expressed confidence Tuesday that eventually all state employees will pay at least 20 percent of their health insurance premiums.

Noncontract state workers and members of the State Police Officers Council soon will make a 20 percent contribution to their monthly health insurance costs, but also will be able to participate in employee wellness programs whereby they can earn a $90 a month premium reduction that would trim their costs to about 5 percent, Branstad said.

The governor sought a similar provision for the state’s largest employees union, but an arbitrator last month ruled in favor of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) contract language that allows many members to participate in the state health plan at no monthly premium cost.

Branstad told members of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board that federal employees pay 25 percent of their health insurance costs and Iowa is one of only six states where some workers pay zero.

“We think two years down the road that we’re in a very strong position. We’re going to see that done. We just have to be tenacious and see that through,” he said.