As per a new rule, the Marquette County retirees need to pay for their health care costs from the next year. This change was agreed upon in 2015. The reason for the change is constantly rising health care costs and increased liabilities of the county. In 2017 budget, the money set aside for health care has also been increased.
From when will the Marquette County Retirees Need to pay for their Health Care Costs?
The Marquette County retirees need to pay for their health care costs from January 1, 2017. It applies to all the retirees who are under 65 years of age and opting for retirement after the said date. They will need to pay 75 percent of what a working employee pays. This Announcement was made by Scott Erbisch who serves as County Administrator. It was also highlighted that the said retirees would also need to pay a co-share towards their own Medicare Advantage policy.
Until January 1, 2017, the health care for retirees who were below the age of 65 was totally funded by the county and it had supplemental policies for people who were over 65 years of age.
The Current Retirees
The retirees who opted for retirement before January 1, 2017, and are also below 65 years of age will not be affected. Retirees who are over 65 years of age will also continue to receive both, a supplemental policy and Medicare.
The decision that says Marquette County retirees need to pay for their health care costs was made when six out of eight bargaining units agreed to the change during negotiations that were held in 2015. This change was necessary as the health care costs are rising at a rapid pace and the unfunded medical liability of the county is increasing.
The Past, the Present, and the Future
While talking about the need to implement the change in which Marquette County retirees need to pay for their health care costs, Gerald Corkin who serves as Marquette County Board Chairman stated that health care costs have increased by 70 percent during one three-year period in the past 5 years. He also mentioned that health care coverage takes $4 million from a $26 million budget. So it’s a big item on the budget. It was also highlighted that the county has reserved 2.4 million for retiree health insurance in 2017 which is a 10 percent increase over the expense that was projected for 2016.