Lawsuit filed to block state retiree health insurance changes

Jul 10, 2012

A former Illinois judge is taking legal action to prevent state retirees from having to pay more for their health insurance. Governor Pat Quinn recently signed the measure into law. It aims to reduce the cost of providing coverage to retired state workers.

The new law went into effect July 1. However, the state still needs to finalize a new rate structure. Under the soon-to-be eliminated system, those with at least 20 years of service do not have to contribute toward their premiums. But, they did have to meet deductibles and co-pays. 

The State Journal Register says Gordon Maag, the retired judge who filed the suit, wants the law declared unconstitutional.  He's also seeking class-action status on behalf of all retirees affected by the change. 

Maag argues that the new law:

“purports to diminish and impair the benefits of members of pension and retirement systems of the state of Illinois, in that (the law) abolishes free health insurance to Illinois retirees who were and are entitled to free health insurance on account of working for the state for 20 or more years of service, or, in the case of retired legislators, four years, and in the case of retired judges, six years.”

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will defend the new law in court.