Retired Illinois Employees Could Receive Stipend For Finding Health Insurance

Retired state workers in Illinois could start receiving money each month, as long as they’re willing to opt-out of state health care.

The measure advanced in the Illinois House on Monday. Chris Slaby reports.

Retirees with 20 years of service who don’t yet qualify for Medicare have been eligible to get health insurance from the state. And until recently, they didn’t have to pay any premiums.

A law passed last year is about to change that.

Retirees will have to pay toward their insurance, or they can look for health coverage on the open market.

In order to nudge people to go that route, pending legislation would let the state pay them up to $500 a month.

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie said retirees sometimes have other options for their insurance.

CURRIE: “Maybe your spouse has insurance, maybe you’re working another job and you’ve got health insurance opportunities there.”

Currie said she expects the measure to save Illinois about $37 million a year.

Retirees would have to prove they’re paying for private insurance, and they’d need 20 years with the state to get the full $500.

Those with less time would receive a smaller amount.

—Chris Slaby

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2 Responses to Retired Illinois Employees Could Receive Stipend For Finding Health Insurance

  1. This story has sweeping ramifications. Many people will be offered a stipend in government jobs . The legacy cost on tax payers is too high.

  2. LOIS BARRETT NORTHRUP says:

    As a 78 yr-old retiree of the State of Illinois, and a recipient of health care insurance promised as part of my package at retirement, I was flabbergasted recently to learn I would be asked without recourse to join the Illinois Medicare A, B, and c or D (labeled TOTAL RETIREE ADVANTAGE ILLINOIS) by 12/13/2013 or “otherwise you will not have retiree medical and prescription drug coverage.” This came in the mail a few days ago. This is added to the fact that I had been paying for free health coverage through the retirement plan I paid into as an employee of the Sec of State’s Office for years. Also, I found on the retiree plan that I cannot join the plan if my spouse is not a medicare reiptient of the federal government. He is on a VA plan and does not have medicare. I will be left to the wolves of the insurance industry. Believe me but check it out. for yourself .LOIS BARRETT NORTHRUP

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