The Illinois House Executive Committee unanimously passed yesterday a bill to end the state government paying public employee health insurance premiums upon their retirement. Under the status quo, Illinois pays five percent of state workers and university employees retirement health insurance premiums for each year of public service. In other words, the state would have to pay the entire retirement insurance premium for anyone who worked at least 20 years (20 years multiplied by 5 percent per year equals a 100 percent payment).
The legislation would let the state's Department of Central Management Services determine how much a state employee must pay toward their retiree health care.
Sponsored by Speaker of the House Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), the bill is part of an overall state effort, along with pension changes, to reduce what it pays retired public employees. AFSCME, the state's largest public employee union, slammed the legislation. AFSCME contends that health insurance premiums are negotiated at the collective bargaining table, not imposed through legislation.