Hundreds of teachers from throughout the Mid-Columbia rallied against proposed changes to their health care plans Thursday night.
State Bill 64-42 would consolidate the hundreds of different insurance plans available for teachers into one plan. This would make it more affordable for other workers, like janitors and bus drivers, to add dependants. However, teachers say the new plan will cost them higher premiums, while providing worse coverage. Teachers who work less than part-time would also not be eligible for coverage under the new plan.
"With some of the cuts that we've had over the past few years, it's not something that we really feel is going to be better for us," said teacher Krista Calvin.
If passed, the initial changes would cost Washington tax payers 45 million overs over the first six years. Supports say the changes could eventually save up to 90 million dollars annually in the future.
Teachers say they support House Bill 26-66, which would still lower costs for school employees, without limiting health care plans for educators.