Tuesday, February 15, 2011

States grapple with retiree health care costs; at least one town requires employees to have colonoscopy at age 50

One of the biggest challenges to balancing state budgets is the soaring cost of retiree health insurance for municipal and state employees, according to a front page story in the New York Times Feb. 14, “States aim ax at health cost of retirement”, link here

New Jersey and California had the biggest unfunded liabilities with regard to retiree health insurance, according to the Pew Center on the States. Pew has a link for Pension and Retiree Health Care Reform in the States here

Demographics are driving much of the problem, as states begin to require more copays, sharing of premiums, and longer periods of employment for eligibility.  

Greenhouse also reports that at least one city in Wisconsin requires all employees to have a colonoscopy at age 50, to reduce future cancer treatment costs. I’ve never heard of an “invasive” diagnostic test being required before. 

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