Brownback vetoes state employee health insurance surcharge

Proposal would have added 2.5 percent to rates

Gov. Sam Brownback has vetoed a surcharge on state employee health insurance premiums that the Kansas Legislature passed last month.

The proposed surcharge would have added a 2.5 percent payment to premiums paid by all participating state employees, including KU faculty and staff, starting in 2012. Brownback line item vetoed the measure, saying it would not generate as much revenue as originally thought.

“After a thorough review, the actual revenues that can reasonably be anticipated from this surcharge are $790,000. Given the legal concerns the provision may create as it relates to the Kansas Wage Payment Act coupled with the smaller revenues produced, I am compelled to veto the surcharge,” Brownback said in a statement.

The Legislature adjourned without attempting to override the veto.

Health insurance premiums for state employees increased as much as 8 percent in 2011, depending on plan, coverage and salary tier. Open enrollment for 2012 health insurance plans will begin in October. Premium rates are not available yet.

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