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ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Department of Community Health has announced changes to the state employee health care system.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday that the agency will increase the number of companies participating in the State Health Benefit Plan and offer more coverage options beginning next year.

Teachers and retirees have protested changes the department made last year, saying the alterations limited their options and raised costs. Gov. Nathan Deal says he signed an executive order requiring DCH to include a teacher in the invitation for proposals process.

Georgia Association of Educators spokeswoman Tracey Nelson says the organization is glad that the Department of Community Health heard the concerns of teachers and other state employees.

Deal says the State Health Benefit Plan covers 650,000 public employees.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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