A group of teachers in Georgia took to social media to raise concerns about the new health care plan for all state employees.
Many supporters said it puts more of a burden onto families, and one teacher told NewsChannel9's Briona Arradondo that one insurance plan for everyone doesn't cut it.
Cathy Clark, of Varnell, Ga., taught in Georgia Schools for 24 years and now fights for fellow state employees. She said she receive papers in the mail outlining changes to the state's health care plan, and she said no one was prepared for the shocking costs. So, Clark joined nearly 10,000 others on Facebook with TRAGIC, or Teachers Rallying Against Georgia Insurance Changes.
"(One) week it was emailing our senators and legislators, which I did," said Clark. "This week, I think we're trying to call them and to continue to write."
Under Georgia's new health benefits plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the cheapest option at Bronze level has a $5,000 deductible. The Silver has a $4,000 deductible, and the highest level of coverage of Gold has a $3,000 deductible. The plan states prescription costs don't apply to those amounts out of pocket.
"I have seen numerous posts about people with monthly drug bills of $800 and $1,000," said Clark.
The Georgia Department of Community Health changed to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement plan for all employees to save $200 million in its budget.
"When the state designed the health benefit plan for 2014, there were two goals that we had in mind. One, first and foremost, making sure that we were allowed to continue to offer our members choice among the plans," said Lisa Marie Shekell, the director of the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs. "They may have a chronic condition and need to go to the doctor often. We were thinking about that member when we were designing these plans."
Clark and others who posted on the Facebook page said having one plan for everyone is not acceptable.
"Who is going to be able to cope with these high deductibles, the superintendent of the school system or the administrative assistant or the lunchroom manager?" said Clark, in regards to the variations in salary and the ability to meet the deductible.
NewsChannel9 reached out to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia about help for families that cannot pay the deductibles but did not hear back in time for the newscast.
The TRAGIC group plans to rally in Atlanta at the Capitol on February 18 at noon. By Briona Arradondo