SC state employees could pay more for health care

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State employees in South Carolina would pay more for health care under the House Ways and Means budget plan.

The committee approved Wednesday spending an additional $59 million to fully cover the rising cost of health care premiums, so their take-home pay won't decrease. However, employees will pay more out of pocket if they get sick. Doctor, hospital and pharmacy co-pays would increase by 20%. Employees also would be required to spend more before coverage kicks in, since health care deductibles would also rise 20%.

Democratic Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg says legislators need to figure out how to avoid those increases. That would cost roughly $50 million more.

The committee's spending plan for 2013-14 would provide raises only to officers in maximum-security prisons, at 3%.

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