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Hobbs explores plan to add teachers to state health insurance plan

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2023 - 4:21pm
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2023 - 9:30am

Republican Rep. Matt Gress says he is looking into creating a bill that could allow school districts to join the state’s large health insurance pool to lower costs for teachers. But Gov. Katie Hobbs thinks her administration can accomplish the same goal administratively, without going through the Legislature.

Right now, most Arizona school districts opt into insurance trusts that pool funds from multiple districts in order to obtain better rates and benefits.

According to a document obtained by KJZZ News, Selianna Chang, the governor’s education policy adviser, met with representatives from Scottsdale Unified School District and the Arizona Department of Administration to discuss a proposed shift to insurance plans reserved for state employees. District officials estimated that could save it $2 million per year in health care costs, according to those records. 

Chuck Essigs, director of government relations for the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, said health insurance increases are a concern for districts.

“Just as average citizens and businesses and other government entities, health insurance increases are a major concern, so districts would want to be as economical as they can,” he said.

The document indicates SUSD could pilot the program, but that the proposal still needs to be reviewed by ADOA. 

A spokesman for Hobbs and a representative for ADOA did not respond to requests for comment. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Chang’s name.

Politics Education Health + Medicine