State Rep. Chris Nybo voted in favor of Senate Bill 1313 on Wednesday, which would require retirees who currently pay no premiums for their health insurance to make some contribution to these costs.
“This was one of the hardest decisions I have made as a state representative, and it was not taken lightly,” the Elmhurst Republican said. “We’ve come to a point where we cannot ignore the rising health insurance costs.”
The legislation puts in place a mechanism that allows the director of central management services to determine the state’s premium payments on behalf of retired state employees. It does not include teachers.
The director also is allowed to structure state premium payments based on the ability of a retiree to pay, meaning retirees with minimal pension income will have a required premium payment that is affordable.
Currently, 78,000 retirees pay no premium for healthcare, 4,700 pay a portion of their premium, and there are 36,000 dependents enrolled whose premium does not cover the true cost of the health care benefit.
“Fairness means that everyone needs to deal with the escalating costs of healthcare, and (the expense) must be spread out as broadly as possible,” Nybo said. “We cannot keep giving out benefits the state does not have the funding for.”
The bill passed the House 74-43 and is headed to the Senate for consideration.
Submitted by Illinois House Republican staff.