State Insurance

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In an effort to control the rising cost of health insurance for state employees, Governor Bob Riley will ask lawmakers to revamp laws related to workers' premiums.

Riley chief of staff Toby Roth said the state must do something to save money on insurance costs due to budget cutbacks. He would not disclose details about the plan.

Alabama provides hospital and medical insurance to nearly 158,000 active and retired employees of public schools and state agencies.

An article in today's Birmingham News reports the state could raise more than $140 million annually if it made teachers, public workers and retirees pay the same health insurance premiums paid by many workers in the private sector.

Alabama's teachers and other public school employees pay $2 per month for single coverage and $134 monthly for family coverage. Employees of state agencies get single coverage free and pay $164 per month for family coverage.