Retiring Illinois lawmakers to pay for their own health insurance plans


Starting in 2019, Illinois lawmakers would no longer receive free healthcare when they retire, if a proposed legislation is signed into law.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) and approved by the Senate, requires any member of the General Assembly who retires to be responsible for 50% of their own group health benefits.

“Really, nobody in the private sector gives free health insurance after eight years,” Bivins said. “We do not want to kick anyone out of the health insurance system. But, at the same time, as we talk about requiring others to pay more for their health insurance, legislators should be first in line to pay something for their health care.”

Sen. Bivins says ultimately, taxpayers pay the bills, even the costs of government office.

“Government is funded by taxpayers. There is always this talk about state and federal funds, about grants – it’s all taxpayer money. It goes to pay the cost of government, including these benefits,” Bivins said. “At some point in time, you have to ‘pay the piper,’ you have to pay up, and legislators should be first in line to do that.”

Senate Bill 2292 was approved by a unanimous vote of the Senate on May 1st. It now moves to the House for consideration.

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