How Should California Pay for Retiree Health Benefits?

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The specter of retiree health care benefits looms large in many states. To entice employees, many states have promised to pay or help pay health care premiums after the worker has retired. Two trends — rising health premiums and long-lived baby boomers moving into retirement years — threaten to make those promises backfire.

California’s overall unfunded obligation is in the lower half of state IOUs for health coverage. But because of the state’s large population, the overall obligation is considerable, and the prospect of paying those premiums poses a serious obstacle for state government. In this article for California Healthline, Center President and CEO Elizabeth Kellar explains why California, like other states, will want to continue offering retiree health care benefits even as it is challenged to fund them. Read more.

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