Clayton County employees lose money on insurance hike - CBS46 News

Clayton County employees lose money on insurance hike

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Clayton County first-responders at work. (SOURCE: WGCL) Clayton County first-responders at work. (SOURCE: WGCL)

Those whose job it is to save lives will now pay more to keep themselves healthy. 

New health insurance rates are on the rise in Clayton County, up 7 to 10 percent, depending on the plan. The county is asking all of its employees including police, firefighters, paramedics, to pay the bulk of the difference themselves.

That means 1,700 workers across 38 departments will see between $60 to $200 less in their paychecks every month, according to H.R. director, Pamela Ambles.

Starting in June, employee contributions on their health insurance will rise from nearly 10 percent of the total premium.

Ambles is advising employees to stay hopeful because although the commissioners already voted for this plan, they could revisit the matter in the future. That's what Clayton County police officers are counting on.

"We're actually losing money. We're pleading with the commissioners that they don't put this in effect," said officer Jamal Mustafa.

He and his fellow officers are vowing to speak at every commission meeting until their insurance rates are lowered.

Ambles adds that while employees are paying a lot for insurance, the county is paying a lot too. For every $1 an individual pays, Clayton County pays about $2.50.

"When you look at the total premium, it gives us an understanding of just how expensive healthcare is," said Ambles.

The H.R. department is looking into plans to save money, like auditing hospital bills to make sure prices are right, and starting a County-managed clinic to compete with private doctors.  However, neither of these plans will produce results in time to stop the current price increases scheduled for June 1.

Every Clayton County employee will see a smaller paycheck except teachers, who get their insurance through the state.

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