KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Conn., Wis. Collective Bargaining Agreements Mean Public Employee Benefit Changes

Collective bargaining agreements are changing health plans in Connecticut and Wisconsin for home care workers, teachers and a police union -- which, if it was not granted an injunction from a judge, would have had to pay new deductibles and copays in Milwaukee.

The Connecticut Mirror: House Approves Controversial Collective Bargaining Proposal
The House approved a controversial proposal to give collective bargaining rights to certain home care workers and daycare providers Friday night, a matter that has galvanized union supporters and opponents, people with disabilities, child care providers and critics of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (Levin Becker, 4/20).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Teachers Moving To Pricier Health Plans
Coming into the second year of restricted collective bargaining, school districts that last year handed off higher premium contributions to teachers are now moving to high-deductible health plans like those commonly seen in private business. Teachers' new medical plans are featuring annual deductibles of $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families but also come with wellness program incentives that fund health accounts designed to cover much of a teacher's out-of-pocket expenses (Breunlin, 4/21).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Judge Signs With Police Union On New Co-Pays, Deductibles
A judge on Friday granted a permanent injunction blocking Milwaukee's efforts to make its police officers pay new deductibles and co-pays as part of their health insurance. In a rambling, hourlong oral ruling, Circuit Judge Dominic Amato said the city's attempts to distinguish such payments from health insurance premiums was a "red herring," and that the Legislature clearly intended to preserve all collective bargaining for public safety employees -- including the right to bargain over who pays the costs of health insurance (Vielmetti, 4/20).

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