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Last updated 5:03PM ET
March 8, 2021
Employees Insurance Board Considering Senate's Request
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - The State Employees Insurance Board will hold a special meeting in the next few weeks for a showdown between Governor Riley's administration and the state Senate over providing health insurance for senators at little or no cost.

A committee of the insurance board agreed unanimously Tuesday to schedule the meeting at the Senate's convenience.

The Senate passed an insurance resolution on the last night of its recent session. It seeks to have the Senate participate in a health insurance program that the State Employees Insurance Board runs for city and county governments.

The resolution's sponsor, state Senator E-B McCain, says most states provide low-cost insurance to legislators and he was seeking that for his Senate colleagues.

The governor and his state finance director, Jim Main, say it's an illegal attempt by the Senate to get health insurance at little or no cost.

State law currently allows state legislators to participate in the health insurance plan for state employees, provided they pay the full cost. For that, they pay 460 dollars monthly for individual coverage and 640 dollars for single coverage. The Senate's resolution seeks to have them treated like regular state workers, whose insurance costs are underwritten by taxpayers.

State workers pay nothing for individual coverage and 180 dollars monthly for family coverage. Both plans have a 22 per month surcharge for smokers.

Traditionally, full-time elected officials - like the governor - have been able to participate in the state employees' insurance program. But the part-time Legislature has not.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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