HELENA, Mont. -

The Bullock administration has approved premium increases and higher deductibles and co-payments for those covered under the state employee health plan.
    
Gov. Steve Bullock's spokesman, David Parker, said on Wednesday that the adjustments are needed to respond to increasing health care costs.
    
State workers who only insure themselves through individual plans shouldn't have to pay a higher monthly premium because the state is increasing its contribution to cover the costs of medical and dental premiums by 10 percent, from $806 to $887.
    
Monthly premiums for couples are increasing from $926 to $1,070, while premiums for retirees will go up 27 percent from $734 to $931. Co-payments for doctor visits will increase from $15 to $20.
    
Employees and retirees have from Sept. 15 to Oct. 22 to decide whether to be covered by the plan.