Healthcare benefits to be discontinued for Detroit city retirees

Healthcare benefits to be discontinued for Detroit city retirees

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

"I worked my 25 years. I worked my butt off for the city of Detroit," Quinton Lavant, a retired firefighter, shares with Fox 2's Alexis Wiley.

And this retired firefighter expected the city to take care of him in return - but now, that expectation is gone.

The city of Detroit informed retirees their current healthcare benefits will be discontinued effective Jan. 1st. Retirees 65 and older will have to enroll in one of the city Medicare plans, and those who aren't 65, like Lavant, will get between $125 and $200 a month to enroll in their spouse's insurance program or "Obamacare."

Don Taylor, president of the Detroit Retired Police and Firefighters Association, calls this disgusting. "Even under the Affordable Care Act, you're looking at basic premiums in the area for $500 minimum, and your initial out-of-the-pocket expenses run from $500 to $750 before the healthcare kicks in," Taylor says. "They did this with such little notice; none of our members knew this was coming. We didn't get a chance to look it over ahead of time or discuss any of the details, to see if there was something that we could work out."
 
"I'm concerned that I won't have coverage, that my children won't have coverage - that I'm just in a state of limbo right now," Lavant says.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's office released this statement:

"Our goal has always been to provide quality coverage that the city can reasonably afford and we have done that."

Retirees are not the only city employees to take a hit. Active employees will have new healthcare options. Their premiums are expected to go down, but deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses may go up. The Retired Police and Firefighters Association has hired a law firm that is looking into the situation

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