ATLANTA — Georgia state employees and teachers will see an average increase of nearly 4 percent in their health insurance premiums next year.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the state Department of Community Health board approved rates on Thursday for the $3 billion State Health Benefit Plan, which covers around 650,000 people. The new rates will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The rate change depends on the type of plan those on the SHBP are enrolled in, with some retirees’ premiums scheduled to increase by more than 15 percent while others will see decreases.

John Palmer with Teachers Rally to Advocate for Georgia Insurance Choices says retirees will be hit hard, as they haven’t received cost-of-living increases in their pensions in about a decade.

DCH officials say deductibles and co-pays won’t increase.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

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