Groups Release State-by-State Retire Health Plans Guide

September 23, 2008 ( - A Washington D.C. trade group and five academic researchers have collaborated to produce a state-by-state guide to state and local government retiree health care issues.

The document was prepared by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence in concert with researchers from North Carolina State University’s School of Public and International Affairs and College of Management. The North Carolina State researchers included Christina Robinson, Richard C. Kearney, Robert L. Clark, Dennis M. Daley, and Jerrell D. Coggburn.

According to a news release, eligibility for participation in state retiree health plans generally is a function of a determined number of years of service with the state government. There may be other qualifications, such as receiving a state retirement pension benefit or reaching a specific age.

Some states allow all retired state employees to participate in their health insurance systems, while other states require a minimum number of years of service.

The news release said the per retiree cost of state health plans differs depending on the retiree’s age; specifically, whether the retiree has reached the age of 65. Most states require those retirees eligible for Medicare (aged 65 and older) to enroll in Medicare.

The new guide is available here .