Proposal Would Limit Retiree Health Benefits To Trim S.F. Deficit
On Monday, San Francisco supervisor Sean Elsbernd announced a tentative deal that could lead to a June ballot measure aimed at slowing growth of future health care costs for city government retirees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The city faces a $4.2 billion deficit for retirement medical expenses for current and former city employees. To help lower costs, Elsbernd's proposal would:
- Increase from five to 20 years the length of time workers must be employed with the city to receive retiree health benefits;
- Raise from 50 years old to 55 years old the minimum age for claiming benefits; and
- Require new employees to contribute up to 2% of every biweekly paycheck toward retiree health costs.
Elsbernd will introduce the charter amendment at the board of supervisor's meeting today, and supervisors likely will vote on the measure on Feb. 26. If approved, the measure could appear before voters on the June 3 ballot.
Elsbernd said rising retiree health care costs could force the city to sell assets or neglect basic city services. San Francisco spent $115 million on health care for its retirees in 2007, an increase from $17 million in 2001 (Selna, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/5). 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.