Ark. lawmakers: Action needed on teacher insurance

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers say a short term fix is needed to address the spiraling cost in teacher health insurance before a hike in premiums takes effect in January.

Members of a legislative panel discussing the premium increase on Monday said they believe lawmakers may be need to return to the Capitol for a special session to provide additional funding to the insurance program.

A state board last month voted to increase insurance premiums for most teacher plans by about 50 percent beginning Jan. 1 to help close a $50 million gap in funding. About 47,000 teachers are on the insurance plan. Sen. Jason Rapert, the chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, said he doesn't think the Legislature can wait until it convenes in February to address the rising costs.

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