Another lawsuit filed against retiree health insurance law

Aug 22, 2012

A class action lawsuit seeks to overturn an Illinois law that calls for retired state workers to pay more for their health insurance.  As part of union agreements, members with long careers in government had their premiums fully covered by the state.  The new law will make them pay a premium.

The lawsuit says that violates the state constitution. Michael Powell is President of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge representing state troopers.  He says it's a dramatic reduction in benefits that troopers count on.

"People retire under certain conditions.  It'd be no different than retiring knowing that your social security kicked in tomorrow, and then the social security agency calling you and saying 'we're going to significantly reduce your social security benefits. People wouldn't stand for it" Powell said.

Powell adds that most troopers, like many other state employees, are not eligible for social security.

There are two other lawsuits challenging the new law.  One from a handful of retired state workers, another from a retired judge.  But legal action from the unions may give it more weight. The Illinois Federation of Teachers, Illinois Nurses Association, and AFSCME are also part of the suit.