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Published July 31 2011

Ask Your Government: Insurance premiums blended for state workers

Dear Teri,

It is my understanding that state employers have to pay the “family rate” even for single employees. As a state, we could save a great deal of money if we could purchase single policies for single employees. Why can’t this be done? It would save about $400/single employee.

Claire Althoff

Mooreton

Thanks for writing! I contacted the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System. Here’s what Executive Director Sparb Collins said:

“The state does not pay the “family rate” for single employees. The health insurance rate for state employees is a blended rate, which takes into account the number of employees who are single and the number of employees who are married.

“The single rate and family rates are averaged to have one rate for all employees. This method is more accurate for budgeting. If the traditional single/family method was used during budgeting, it would be necessary to estimate the number of family and single premiums for the budget period for each agency.

“(This) could result in overestimating the number of family premiums, which would over budget premiums for that agency or overestimating the number of single premiums, which could underfund the premiums for that agency.”

Do you have a question for a North Dakota state government official or agency? Send us your question, and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

Email politics@wday.com (Subject: Ask your government).

You may also write to Teri Finneman c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck, ND 58505.

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