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State still figuring out contributions for health coverage

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The Illinois Department of Central Management Services is still trying to figure how much state retirees will have to contribute to their health coverage.

Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed off on a measure that ends free health benefits for about 78,000 retirees.

Department spokesman Mike Claffey says the agency is still calculating how much people have to contribute to their plan.

“Up until this fiscal crisis we’ve been able to be, you know, extremely generous,” Claffey said. “But this costs $800 million a year, and approximately 90 percent of retirees are not contributing anything to the cost of their health insurance.”

Claffey said the restructuring process will include bargaining with labor unions. He said contribution rates will depend on how much retirees get for their pension. But Claffey said a set plan isn’t expected for months.

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