New Ill. law ends free state retiree health care

June 21, 2012

Associated Press

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a law that ends free health care for state retirees and requires them all to contribute to the cost of health care, based on their ability to pay.

In a statement Thursday, Quinn says retirees deserve access to quality health care. But he says the insurance costs should be shared and he has a duty to taxpayers to ensure that the plans are cost-efficient.

Currently, retired lawmakers get free health insurance after four years of service and retired judges after six years. Additionally, retired state and university employees get free health insurance after 20 years of service.

Beginning July 1, all state retirees would pay a premium based on their years working for the state and ability to pay. The law doesn't include teachers.