Osceola County school employees concerned about rising cost of family healthcare



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - As teachers and district employees head back to work in Osceola County, many of them are worried about how they're going to afford health care.

The Osceola County school district is self-insured and covers health insurance for its employees, but now their spouses and families will face extremely high premiums.

"It's really not fair to everyone in the district for the spouse to have a large amount of their insurance premium paid for by the district," said Apryle Jackson, with the Osceola County Educators Association.

Previously, employees paid around $630 per month for their families, but that number will jump to between $800 and $960 monthly. In addition, the maximum out-of-pocket expenses went from $6,000 per family to nearly $13,000 including prescription costs.

School Board member Jay Wheeler said he's worried about the hardships many employees could face.

"You talk about a bus driver making $15,000 a year, there's no way they can afford that. It's just unaffordable, unsustainable," said Wheeler.

For school employees in Orange County, healthcare costs about $300 per month to cover a family. Volusia County school district employees pay around $760 monthly for health care for their families.

Osceola County school leaders said they plan to look into other options to help alleviate the health insurance costs.