MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of the state’s teacher’s lobby, which argued a 2016 health insurance premium increase was illegally approved.
Justices upheld a Montgomery judge’s decision that a state insurance board in 2016 violated the Open Meetings Act by discussing the increases in a closed-door meeting they called an “education session” before voting in public. Justices said that the “closed morning session did not meet exceptions to the definition of a meeting required to be open to the public.”
“This is a great day for educators in Alabama public schools,” Alabama Education Association President Sherry Tucker said in a statement.
AEA had filed a lawsuit in 2016 seeking to invalidate the premium increases. AEA said Friday that the case will now return to the trial judge to discuss refunds.
The 2016 decision increased premiums by $15 per month for single coverage, $30 per month for family coverage and $50 per month for a spousal coverage surcharge.
AEA members last year rallied outside the Alabama Supreme Court building ahead of oral arguments in the case.