Effective Nov. 1, 2005, the city-parish health insurance premium increased for employees and retirees. An employee and a retiree with single coverage both pay $72.26 monthly. An employee with family coverage pays $219.37, compared to a retiree with family coverage paying $486.26, causing the retiree to pay $266.89, or 121 percent more monthly, than the employee. A retiree receiving $1,350 in monthly retirement benefits and paying $482.26 for insurance would leave the retiree with only $863.74 monthly to live on, which is almost impossible to survive on in this day and age.
During the last 18 months, under Joey Durel's administration and the present city-parish council, a retiree's insurance premium with family coverage has increased by $147.36 or 43.5 percent monthly.
A greater injustice with the insurance plan is that a retiree with Medicare is paying the same identical premium as a regular retiree. Medicare is the primary insurance for a retiree who is eligible for Medicare coverage, leaving the city-parish plan as a supplement to Medicare. For example, on a medical claim of $1,430 with deductibles met, the city-parish plan pays $1,144 on the regular retiree's claim, compared to $129.84 for the Medicare retiree's claim. The plan pays $1,014.16, or 781 percent, more for the regular retiree's claim, yet both retirees pay the same exact monthly premium of $486.26. All other governments have lower premiums for retirees with Medicare.
Durel's administration needs to recognize the inequity of treating retirees in a different manner and correct it, whereby everyone will be treated fairly and equally or else switch the city-parish government's coverage to an outside insurance company for the best premiums and benefits for all concerned.
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