Idaho lawmakers get full-time health coverage for part-time jobs

Not a bad gig! Via the Idaho Statesman

Lawmakers are eligible for the same benefits package available to all state employees. Though Idaho’s 105 legislators technically serve part-time, they are considered full-time employees for purposes of insurance and retirement benefits. The state group health plan is held by Blue Cross of Idaho. See the rate schedule at

The state’s health care contribution per full-time employee, including a 9 percent increase that kicked in this month with the new fiscal year, is $12,240 a year — $1,020 a month. As with other group plans, costs are based on claims history, not participation. The state’s costs and per-employee contributions are determined by the total number of state employees, not by the actual number of workers enrolled. So there is no savings to the state when employees opt out.

Confidentiality requirements limit the amount of information the state can disclose about coverage for specific employees, including lawmakers. But of 105 legislators, 90 are enrolled in the state plan — 30 of 35 in Senate and 60 of 70 in the House. Their opt-out rate of about 14 percent is higher than that of the overall state workforce, where about 1,500 of 19,000 workers, or 8 percent, don’t take the state package.

The state also cites confidentiality in declining to disclose the total number of lawmakers’ dependents on the state plan. The average for the entire state workforce is 1.5 dependents per employee.

So what do they pay? Per the rate schedule, the total premium for a married employee with one child ranges from $126 to $181 a month depending on the type of plan and deductible, or $1,452 to $2,172 annually.