Some teachers in a county of Wisconsin are unsure if they will be able to receive some of the benefits that the school district is scheduled to discontinue. The members of the Kenosha school board have made a decision to drop some of the coverage for teachers, both still active and retired. One of the considered changes that has caused the most discontent and uncertainty is the long-term disability benefits. The Wisconsin school district authorities have stated that the rising costs of all benefits and insurance are the main reason that they have decided to discontinue it.
The board members are now said to be reconsidering some of the policies that they recently agreed to drop. For now they have stated that instead of an August deadline, they will now continue the long term care coverage until December. The officials have also said that any employee that has taken retirement by the end of June will be covered by the current agreement to provide group coverage.
The plan to discontinue a group policy is still on the table so far. However, any teacher, active or retired will only receive coverage until they are 65 years of age. Then, any teacher that wishes to continue to receive care benefits will have to seek coverage under a policy for individuals. Some teachers have expressed concern about what that kind of policy may cost them. They are currently receiving coverage under the group plan and they pay the required group rate which is less costly than an individual rate.
School officials have announced that they will be holding informational meetings in the fall in order to try and explain the new policies and how they may impact their teachers. There have been many questions about whether these changes are in agreement with the collective bargaining rights that the teachers and unions have already settled. Wisconsin teachers that have already taken their retirement and receive these benefits are to continue with no changes in their coverage. Wisconsin employees may wish to review what could happen to their long-term disability care if their employers were to decide to make changes to their current coverage.
Source: kenoshanews.com, “Long term care up in the air,” Terry Flores, July 20, 2013