CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A new study forecasts that health insurance for retired state employees will cost billions of dollars more than previously thought. That makes efforts to control those costs more urgent than ever.
In most states, retired government employees pay about half the cost of their health insurance. In Illinois, though, those retirees pay less than 20% of the cost of a very rich health plan with very small co-pays. A new study — completed before Gov. Quinn’s recent cost control efforts — finds taxpayers face a staggering $56.4 billion in unfunded retiree health care costs, up from $54.2 billion estimated in 2011. One reason: state workers may retire at age 55 with full benefits.
“If you’re looking at a retiree in their 50s, the state pays more than $14,000 a year for this unheard of benefit. The retiree is paying less than $1,000,” The Illinois Police Institute’s Kristina Rasmussen explains.