Rep. Bacon: Local concerns brings change to school health care

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Monday, April 18, 2016 9:00 am

Local concerns brings change to school health care

As a lawmaker, it is my job and top priority to meet the needs of the communities I serve. The legislative process first starts with conversations with you at places like the grocery store, county fair, town hall meetings, or phone calls and emails made to my office. This process is how one bill recently became a law after some local schools approached policymakers regarding issues with their health care.

Currently, support staff including bus drivers, cafeteria workers and maintenance crews at schools are only allowed to use health-care benefits provided by the school system. Often tailored with teachers and administrative staff in mind, these health-care options can be costly and may not be the best plan to meet the needs of the support staff.

Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 335, which I sponsored, will provide more flexibility to these employees by giving them the opportunity to opt for a health-insurance provider through their specific bargaining units. Many school corps. have multiple bargaining units representing different types of staff. This law will allow staff to opt for health coverage that best suits their needs. Before, schools were required to follow an inflexible, one-size-fits-all approach. Whatever their ultimate health insurance choice, school staff will have the added convenience of automatic paycheck deduction to pay their premiums.

This common-sense measure received unanimous, bipartisan support in both legislative chambers. It was recently signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence and will take effect July 1, 2016.

This was an example of responsive government in action where concerns were shared with local lawmakers and changes were made through the legislative process. Your input and feedback matters and helps me better serve House District 75. Please continue to reach out to me with your thoughts and ideas by emailing h75@iga.in.gov or calling 317-232-9833. Stay up-to-date with the work I am doing at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates by visiting www.in.gov/h75.

-30-

Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.