House Bill 1923 and House Bill 1922, both approved in the House Labor and Employment Committee, will ensure health insurance coverage for state employees, including teachers, after they retire.
HB 1923 provides that a state worker who retires after June 2003 may obtain state employee health insurance coverage equal to the coverage offered to active employees. It also states that employees will remain eligible for coverage when they become eligible for Medicare.
"There are too many people who are far beyond retirement age and still working, because without work, they would be without insurance," Adams said. "That is absolutely unfair and this bill provides the benefit that they deserve."
HB 1922 is composed of four specific points:
--Eliminates the earnings cap for a for a retired Teachers' Retirement Fund (TRF) member who is re- employed in a covered position and has not attained the Social Security normal retirement age for unreduced benefits;
--Reduces to 30 days the period within which retirement benefits stop if a retired TRF member is re- employed in a covered position; and
--Permits a retired TRF member to assign benefits for paying dues for a retired membership to any association.
"This was an issue that was brought to me by the Indiana State Teachers Association," Adams said. "I believe that it is essential to provide good health coverage to Indiana's retired teachers and I am pleased to be asked to help.
"As a state legislator, I am just trying to fulfill my promise I made to my constituents to provide decent benefits to retirees across the state," Adams said.
HB 1923 and HB 1922 now move to the full House for further consideration.