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More Money for State Retirees: CMS Reverts to Lesser Premiums

Updated: Thursday, August 21 2014, 05:10 PM CDT
SPRINGFIELD-- Hundreds of dollars are going back into the pockets of state retirees. The state's department of Central Management Services is backtracking on an increase in insurance premiums.

In July the premiums were doubled from one percent to two percent for state retirees on Medicare, and from two percent to four percent for those not on Medicare. That may not seem like a lot of money to some, but for retirees living on fixed incomes and tight budgets, it can make a big difference.

Today CMS says they'll go back to the old rates when retirees get their next checks in September. A representative for AFSCME, one of the largest public sector unions in the state, says the average retiree earns $22,000 a year. He says for many of the thousands of state retirees, every penny counts, especially as health care costs continue to rise.

David Amerson says, "People on fixed budgets in one area of the economy that never really tracks with inflation or the price of goods is health care costs. Health care costs are always going up. People, as they grow older, owe more and more health care costs, so for people on fixed budgets that's the biggest driver of their budgetary problems."

The department of Central Management Services is still battling the unions in court over increases that were enacted last July. In a statement Wednesday, CMS tells us: "CMS made the decision to maintain the status quo until the litigation is resolved."More Money for State Retirees: CMS Reverts to Lesser Premiums

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