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Health benefits for CWC workers to expand next year; costs up 5 percent

Nov 6, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Premiums still will be lower than 2011 levels, however.

Health insurance coverage for employees at Central Wyoming College will be expanded next year due to new requirements through the Affordable Care Act.

The change comes with a rate increase of almost 5 percent, school administrators said, though premiums for 2014 still will be lower than they were two years ago.

Children

Last year, new regulations made it possible for children up to age 26 to remain on their parents' health insurance plans. Now, adult children are eligible for coverage through their parents' life insurance and dental plans as well.

"(That) created uniformity across the program," said Jennifer Rey, CWC's executive director for human resources. "Now all of (the plans) will cover dependent children to age 26."

Pre-existing conditions

Clauses that excluded people from health insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions have been eliminated through the ACA. Rey said she doesn't know whether that change will affect any employees at CWC because information about pre-existing conditions is confidential.

"Unless an employee complains about the coverage, we wouldn't know if they've been denied access to services," Rey said.

"So it could be an irrelevant expansion. ... But eliminating the pre-existing conditions clause is certainly going to create opportunities for people who have not had coverage to access the coverage we provide in a more timely fashion."

Citizens throughout the United States were able to start signing up for health insurance through ACA, or Obamacare, beginning Oct. 1. The act goes into effect in January.

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