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ALABAMA COURT FINDS THE PUBLIC EDUCATION EMPLOYEES’ HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN (PEEHIP) VIOLATES STATE EDUCATORS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

 

In 2014, Whatley Kallas and co-counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of Alabama teachers after the PEEHIP Board unilaterally decided that married educators with children could no longer combine their insurance benefits or “allocations” for family coverage and could not utilize the second spouse’s benefit for an optional plan such as dental insurance. Following the policy change, one of the married educators receives no benefit at all while all other educators continue to receive an insurance benefit. The lawsuit alleges that PEEHIP’s policy of denying married teachers the right to utilize their insurance benefits is a violation of equal protection. The Circuit Court of Montgomery County has now entered an order, finding married educators are, in fact, treated differently because “PEEHIP provides an insurance benefit to other educators excluding educators who are married to educators and have dependents.” Accordingly, the Court has granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, has entered a declaration that the defendants’ policy discriminates against married teachers and denies them equal protection, and has ordered the defendants to cease and desist their discriminatory conduct.

The Order can be found here.