Oklahoma teachers seeking funds for dependent health coverage

Monday, January 24th 2005, 6:23 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Brad Henry says he does't know if the state can afford a request by the Oklahoma Education Association that the state pay part of teachers' spouse and dependent health insurance coverage.

Beginning this year, the state is paying 100% of teachers' individual premiums -- $314 a month. A teacher with a spouse and two children still pays about $700 a month for health insurance. The Legislature subsidizes much of that premium for state workers.

OEA officials estimate it would cost $32-million dollars a year if the state paid 25% of dependent coverage for the 48,000 educators enrolled in HealthChoice plans.

Last year, the Legislature approved a plan to bring teacher salaries up to the regional average and pay their health insurance.