Georgia teachers speak out about changes to health insurance

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Georgia (WRDW)- Last year, the health plan offered state employees a choice of two different third party administrators, but now blue cross blue shield is the only option for teachers like Jennifer Heise.

"I think that having one choice was not a good idea because one choice isn't a choice," Heise said. "It's telling us what we have and that's not fair."

Like other plans offered on the new website, state employees can opt for gold, silver or bronze coverage.
The plan kicked in Jan. 1, prompting a response from teachers across Georgia.

The Facebook page Teachers Rally Against the Insurance Change in Georgia has teachers coming together posting personal stories of how the new 2014 plan is affecting them and their families.

Anthony Wilson also teaches at Copeland Elementary.
He said the changes won't impact him, but he can see how people with families could be worried.

"Children have a tendency to get sick more than adults do so yes, I think that there's a possibility with children that it may bring about an extra expense that they're not prepared to deal with," Wilson said.

Richmond County BOE officials call the new plan "consumer driven," which will force employees to take charge of their own healthcare. This is different from what was offered in the past.

"Manage your health the best you can and hopefully by the end of the year you'll have some finances left over which actually can be carried over to the following year," Wilson said.

The change impacts 650,000 school employees statewide--each one bringing a unique perspective.

The T.R.A.G.I.C group is planning a rally at the Georgia State Capitol on Feb. 18.