Today’s Ask Your Government

Dear Teri,

It is my understanding that state employers have to pay the “family rate” even for single employees. As a state, we could save a great deal of money if we could purchase single policies for single employees. Why can’t this be done? It would save about $400/single employee.

Claire Althoff


Thanks for writing! I contacted the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System. Here’s what Executive Director Sparb Collins said:

“The state does not pay the “family rate” for single employees. The health insurance rate for state employees is a blended rate, which takes into account the number of employees that are single and the number of employees that are married.

“The single rate and family rates are averaged to have one rate for all employees. This method is more accurate for budgeting. If the traditional single/family method was used during budgeting, it would be necessary to estimate the number of family and single premiums for the budget period for each agency.

“(This) could result in overestimating the number of family premiums, which would over budget premiums for that agency or overestimating the number of single premiums, which could underfund the premiums for that agency.”

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