Deal signs order he says ensures teachers have say on health insurance plans

Gov. Nathan Deal has signed an executive order he contends requires the Department of Community Health to include a teacher representative in the State Health Benefit Plan invitation for proposals process.

“The state regularly seeks bids and contracts with vendors for the State Health Benefit Plan, which covers 650,000 Georgians, so that our employees receive the high-quality coverage they need for their families,” Deal said in a statement. “Teachers and their dependents comprise the largest group of SHBP members, and they deserve to have a strong voice in this process. This executive order accomplishes that.

“In recent years, the state – like private businesses all across Georgia – has faced tough choices, brought on first by the Great Recession and then by the funding pressures brought on by Obamacare’s coverage mandates, which drove up costs. Despite these challenges, we want to give state employees a strong, affordable coverage plan that meets their needs and provides them with options that best fit their family.”

The executive order notes that it is during the invitation for proposals process that teams develop plan design and evaluate bids to administer the plan. “It is critical that educators have a voice in the development process for shaping the health insurance plans available to them,” the order states.

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