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Educators Unite to Protect the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund

Nearly 30 retired teachers came to Hartford to urge legislators to preserve the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund today. Pictured left to right are Don Demers, John Battista, Mike Lingaro, Karin Pyskaty, CEA President Sheila Cohen, Jane Shugg, Mary-Jo Vocke, Rhea Klein, Ronald Green, Fonda Green, Bill Murray, and Walt Liplinski.

Nearly 30 retired teachers came to Hartford to urge legislators to preserve the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund today. Pictured left to right are Don Demers, John Battista, Mike Ungoro, Karin Pyskaty, CEA President Sheila Cohen, Jane Shugg, Mary-Jo Vocke, Rhea Klein, Ronald Green, Fonda Green, Bill Murray, and Walt Ciplinski.

“I paid $15,000 a year out of my pocket for health insurance before my wife and I turned 65 and were eligible for Medicare.”

“Retired teachers are on fixed incomes and we don’t get Social Security, so increases in our health care insurance costs are difficult to manage.”

“Both active and retired teachers have been paying more than their fair share—now it’s time for the state to keep its promise and continue funding the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund.”

Those are just some of the comments from nearly 30 retired teachers who attended an Appropriations Committee hearing at the State Legislative Office Building in Hartford today to show their support and urge legislators to preserve the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund.

The governor’s budget proposal eliminates the state’s contribution to the fund for the next two years.

CEA President Sheila Cohen, testifying before the committee, said the state is not upholding its end of the bargain, and is breaking its promise to active and retired teachers in Connecticut.

“The governor’s plan puts the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance fund in serious jeopardy, and that’s totally unacceptable,” she said.

Cohen added, “Active and retired teachers have always dutifully made their required health insurance contribution with the understanding that it will be there for them when they retire. The state should honor its obligation to Connecticut teachers.”

CEA is urging all teachers—active and retired—to call their legislators and tell them to continue the state’s 33 percent contribution to the fund.

Active teachers contribute 1.25% of their salary annually into the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund—this represents the largest contribution to the fund—over $45 million in 2012-2013.

Retired teachers also contribute to the fund—nearly $38 million in 2012-2013.

Members need to call, email, or write to their legislators and explain how the cuts to the fund would directly affect them.

Call your state representative and state senator and ask them to ensure that the budget restores the state’s funding to the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund. Click here to look up your state legislator.

•  House Democrats: 1-800-842-1902

•  House Republicans: 1-800-842-1423

•  Senate Democrats: 1-800-842-1420

•  Senate Republicans: 1-800-842-1421

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