Contra Costa County Retiree Health Costs Among State’s Highest
Contra Costa County officials on Thursday released a report recommending options to reduce the rising cost of current and future retiree health benefits, the Contra Costa Times reports. Contra Costa County's $2.6 billion in health liabilities for retirees is the equivalent of five of the state's largest counties combined.
The report, presented to a county finance committee, recommended strategies for decreasing the liability, including:
- Shifting retirees ages 65 and older to Medicare;
- Eliminating retiree health benefits to employees younger than age 40;
- Eliminating retiree medical coverage to management and non-union employees; and
- Freezing the county's dollar-amount contribution toward health care payments, a step that would reduce the liability by half.
The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the report.
The appointment of a commission to consider state retiree health and pension benefit costs should not be a strategy for "stalling painful choices," a San Francisco Chronicle editorial states. The commission will have to consider unpopular alternatives, the editorial states, concluding that "it will take great political resolve to finish the task" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.