Costs Are Rising for Public Sector Health Plans Too

January 31, 2011 ( – Much like their private-sector brethren, public employees are seeing the increases in their out-of-pocket health costs outpacing inflation, according to a new Segal Company study.

A Segal news release said a growing number of states now require employees to pay 40% or more of the premium cost for health benefits for some coverage levels. There is a general trend towards greater cost sharing for all plan types, although there are significant regional differences.

According to Segal, other study findings include:

  • Annual per person deductibles have increased with nearly one-third of plans reporting deductibles of $500 or higher.
  • Copayments for Rx coverage have increased for both brand-name and generic drugs.
  • Preferred provider managed medical plans are the predominant type of coverage offered.

The study notes that states are working on a variety of approaches for maintaining their health benefit programs, including aggressively pursuing strategies to keep cost trends at sustainable levels, rethinking retiree health benefits, and adjusting benefits eligibility.

Data for this study was compiled from information available on state Web sites and augmented by information provided by state benefits administrators. The study covers all states and the District of Columbia and reflects benefits offered to active, full-time employees in 2010.

The full report is available at: