Chicago Retirees Ask For Health Care Cost-Sharing Reprieve
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to save the city $108.7 million per year by making retired city workers pay up to 79 percent more for coverage. Elsewhere, Louisiana's employee health program faces dwindling funds amid a bid by Gov. Bobby Jindal to make big changes.
Chicago Sun-Times: Retirees Ask Federal Judge To Block Emanuel Health Care Hike
Chicago’s 28,000 retired city workers and their dependents are asking a federal judge to block Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to save $27 million in 2015 by raising monthly health insurance premiums by anywhere from 30 percent to 79 percent. Arguing that the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to preserve health benefits for state retirees “substantially increased” their chances of prevailing on the merits, retirees want to compel the city to roll back monthly payments to 2013 levels. That’s when Emanuel announced plans to save $108.7 million a year by phasing out the city's 55 percent subsidy for retiree health care and forcing retirees to make the switch to Obamacare. If U.S. District Judge James Holderman grants the preliminary injunction, retirees will save anywhere from $50 to $800 a month. The city stands to lose $52 million (Spielman,9/25).
The Associated Press: Dire Finances Outlined For Louisiana Employee Health Program
Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser said Thursday that the state employee health insurance program will be nearly broke by the end of the budget year without the heavily criticized changes planned by the Jindal administration. But retirees and employees who face the higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs responded angrily, telling lawmakers that they shouldn't be held responsible for what they consider the Jindal administration's mismanagement of the Office of Group Benefits. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said without the slate of new insurance plans scheduled to take effect in January, workers and retirees would face premium hikes of as much as 37 percent to keep the program solvent. She said state agencies and local school districts also would have to pay millions of dollars for its share of the insurance costs (DeSlatte, 9/25).