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Retired State Workers May Have To Pay For Health Care

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Illinois State Capitol

Illinois State Capitol buillding in Springfield (AP Photo)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) – Illinois lawmakers may consider steps to reduce the cost of health care for retired state workers.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Conway reports, the Chicago Tribune notes the medical coverage costs the state nearly $500 million a year, and more than 90 percent of the retirees and survivors pay no premiums.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Conway reports

One idea that may come up, the Tribune says, is to start charging those retirees who can afford to pay for their health care. The average annual household income for a retired state worker younger than 65 is nearly $78,000.

This is the result of state workers taking advantage of generous early retirement plans that allow them to leave government jobs while in their 50s, start collecting pension benefits and still have time for a second career.

State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), said he will push legislation to put in place a means test for retirees and a sliding scale of charges based on an individual’s ability to pay.

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