San Luis Obispo -- Insurance premiums will likely go up for some state workers by thousands of dollars. The California Public Employee's Retirement System is considering a huge rate hike. CalPERS is considering a nearly 80-percent hike on premiums for long-term care insurance. About 115-thousand state employees have this insurance many of them in their 60s and older retired and living on a fixed income. The rates would go up hundreds of dollars a year and in some cases possibly thousands.
On average state employees pay nearly 22-hundred a year for this insurance. A 79-percent rate hike would mean they would pay about 17-hundred dollars more a year; the new annual fee would be more than 39-hundred dollars.
The President of the Retired Public Employee's Association of California Harvey Robinson says, "The ones that are aware are enraged. And again, they have to bear the brunt of these premium increases through no fault of their own." The long term care fund was initiated in 1995. CalPERS says the initial premium was too low and by 2003 the benefits paid out were exceeding rates paid in.
Deputy Executive Officer of the California Public Employees Retirement System Ann Boynton says, "We've been working for several years trying to stabilize this program that was initiated in the 90s. The initial premium design was too low."
CalPERS is trying to fix the financial holes in this insurance program by raising rates. State employees would have the option of buying a less comprehensive program at a cheaper rate as an alternative. Details on the premium proposal will be presented to the CalPERS pension and health benefits committee on October 16th. Final approval of the rate hike is expected the next day.
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