Updated: May 8, 2014 9:47AM
Thrown under the bus. Thrown overboard. Pick your metaphor, but that’s what has happened to Medicare-eligible, retired state workers in Illinois, all of whom by definition are senior citizens.
Earlier this year, retirees who receive state pensions heard that they would be paying more for their health insurance. Most accepted this as a reality, even though they were promised free health care upon retirement. The new cost to retirees is 1 percent of their pension through June 30 and 2 percent after that.
What is really difficult to accept is that last fall the retirees were told that their previous health plans that supplemented Medicare would no longer be available. Medicare-eligible state retirees are being pushed into a state-run Medicare Advantage program and will no longer be in original Medicare, something that they trust and have come to rely on.
They can decline the Medicare Advantage programs and stay with Medicare, but if they do they must purchase Medigap or a supplemental policy, coverage for prescription drugs, a vision plan and dental care, all without state help.
I am concerned about those who may fall through the cracks and am angry about the process.