The majority of retired Chicago employees would see their 55 percent
health care subsidy from the city phased out by 2017 under a new proposal by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
5,500 of the city's oldest retires who retired before August 23,
1989 would continue to receive the subsidy for the rest of their lives
under the plan, however. The other 30,000 retires would have to look for
coverage under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, according to the
mayor's plan, which is projected to save taxpayers $108.7 million a
City Comptroller Amer Ahmad said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times that
continuing to provide the retiree health benefits could have a negative
impact on the city's credit and add "a significant long-term liability
to the city’s financials."
On June 30, a 10-year settlement
agreement that says the city will share health insurance costs with
retirees is slated to expire.
The 55 percent subsidy would be
extended until January 1 under the deal, Ahmad told the newspaper. After that, the
subsidy would be phased out over a three-year period. More specifics
about the three-year phase out plan are expected to be announced by the
end of the year, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Ahmad said the remaining 30,000 retirees "were worried we were gonna dump them onto some Obamacare thing we didn’t know anything about."
we’re extending the current coverage until the beginning of 2014, then
spending three years transitioning to figure out the rules,” Ahmad told
The Chicago City Council will have to approve the proposed plan.