The agreement negotiated between Gov. Dannel Malloy and government union leaders contains a provision that would provide healthcare for retired state employees through Medicare Advantage. But the inclusion of the Medicare Advantage switch in the deal with government unions may hamper future lawmakers’ ability to make administrative changes to the way Connecticut handles retiree healthcare.
Tucked inside the concessions package negotiated between union leadership and Gov. Dannel Malloy is a provision which would implement a $250 copay for “unnecessary” emergency room visits. The provision would not affect retirees and was included in the section labelled “Design Changes to Save Money and Improve Health.”
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.