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No health changes for Calif. public employees

12:29 PM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
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California has no plans to move state government workers onto the state's new insurance exchange, said Bill Madison, a spokesman for the California Public Employees' Retirement System.  

CalPERS provides health benefits to nearly 550,000 current state employees and their dependents. An additional 270,000 retired state workers also receive health coverage through the nation's largest public pension fund, he said.  

"All employees are staying in CalPERS health plans as long as they're eligible for them," Madison said this week.  

CalPERS is the third largest purchaser of health care in the nation. It provides benefits to more than 1.3 million public employees, retirees and their families.  

The state has about 217,000 employees, said Pat McConahay, spokeswoman for the California Department of Human Services. That figure includes state department workers and employees of constitutional officers, but not legislative staff, state university employees or public school teachers.  

About 23,000 are part-time or intermittent workers, McConahay said.  

According to the state's human resources website, the state pays a portion of health premiums, with the amount varying by labor contract.  

The state was an early supporter of President Barack Obama's health care reform law. Madison said the plans offered by CalPERS already meet the standards set under the Affordable Care Act, such as no lifetime limits and covering children up to age 26.  

In addition, Madison said few changes are expected from cities, counties and other local governments that contract with CalPERS to administer health benefits.

The Associated Press

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