Healthcare costs for retired state employees are projected to surpass the healthcare costs for current employees for the first time in 2017, according to the governor’s budget report.
Faced with mounting retiree healthcare costs, Connecticut towns are making changes to get out of the healthcare business altogether. Matt Gallagan, town manager of South Windsor, said they no longer provide health benefits for retirees. Instead retirees can purchase a health plan through the town. South Windsor is one of several towns and cities that have moved away from providing long-term health benefits for their retirees.
Although Connecticut often ranks very low in the nation for taxation, debt, regulatory burden and cost of living, a new research project from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked Connecticut 48th in the nation for healthcare access and openness. Although Connecticut ranked highest for access to e-cigarettes, naxalone - to prevent opioid overdoses - and good samaritan protections, state insurance restrictions and regulatory burdens were ranked as some of the worst in the nation.
Part of the orientation is a 30-minute “union-only” session of the training, during which members SEIU 1199 organizers discuss workers' rights and the benefits of joining a union. The union then tries to get PCAs to sign union cards to join the SEIU 1199 and start paying dues. Pauline refused to sign the card and that was when the trouble started.
The Department of Social Services confirmed that it is “looking into” claims that personal care assistants employed through private non-profit agencies are having union dues deducted from their paychecks without authorization. Karen Hansen of Community Allied Resources, the company which administers paychecks for PCAs paid for by agencies like the DSS, also confirmed that “we have had calls indicating this kind of thing.”
A leaked draft bill proposes to do away with municipal health departments and combine them into county districts, effectively regionalizing towns and cities in all matters related to public health. The legislation would form county health districts and force suburban and rural towns into cost-sharing with cities. The draft plan requires each municipality to contribute 1.5 percent of their budget in order to receive state health funding and grants.