From John Curry, October 22, 2007
Subject: Wapak Educators...THIS is for YOUR future! Ohio House Bill 315
Dear Wapakoneta City Schools Educators,
It has been over a year since I last contacted many of you in regards to the OHIO STRS healthcare situation. Since then, the STRS monthly healthcare premiums have once again risen to even higher
levels. An example of this is to examine the set rates for 2008 coverage for a 30 year (or more) teacher retiree (before reaching Medicare age). What are these rates? Well, for 2008 an educator retiree and retiree's spouse will see monthly Medical Mutual premiums climb to $850 per month total! The STRS rates for 2007 are over $700 per month for the same coverage (80/20 PPO through Medical Mutual)! Can you imagine WCS deducting $850 per month from your paycheck for your healthcare insurance come next payday?
To give you a comparison with another Ohio public retirement system I will relate to a close friend of mine who retired in the same year that I did - the year 2000. I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the former Auglaize County Sheriff Larry Longsworth. Larry also retired from OPERS (the same system our legislators will retire in) 2000 and is currently paying OPERS a total of $80 per month to medically insure himself and his spouse for a similar Medical Mutual 80/20 PPO plan. Next year (2008) his premiums will climb to a monthly premium (for himself and his spouse) of less than $90 per month! So, comparatively speaking, STRS's monthly premiums beginning Jan. 1, 2008 will be almost 10 times as much as Ohio PERS healthcare premiums for retiree and spouse!
What can YOU do about this. Well, one thing you can do to help ALL educators in Ohio (both active and retired) is to write your respective state Representative and ask him to support House Bill 315....a bill that was introduced into the Ohio House of Representatives this fall by the Honorable Representative Scott Ohelslager of the 51st House District. This bill was also bipartisanly co-sponsored by fourteen other State Representatives. Please ask your Rep. to support HB 315 to ensure that healthcare will be affordable for all Ohio public educators. When you write a post card or letter I ask that you also have your spouse (if you are married) to sign the letter as it will be even more effective when it reaches its destination. The backing of this bill includes all Ohio pro-educator groups including the OEA, OFT, Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA), and Concerned Ohio Retired Educators(CORE). Below I have included a link to the Ohio House so that you can enter your home zip code and you will be presented with both the snail mailing address and the email address of your respective House member. Here is that link:
Here is a link to House Bill 315 (I know many of you don't have the time to read it but I have included it for you should someone ask about it) You can also view the list of HB 315 co-sponsors and see if your House member has co-sponsored it:
In closing I wish to add that this bill is very important to your financial future. I do want to add that this bill is strongly being fought by one organization that I'm sure is very familiar to you....the OSBA (Ohio School Boards Association)! They have already passed out "kits" to their members to aid in stopping the passage of HB 315! Please show your representatives that you also have a strong voice in your future and are concerned about it. Remember....if you don't help fight for your future...nobody else will! Please write this letter as soon as possible and thank you for your attention in this matter. This IS a very serious matter.
A WCS educator retiree
A member of CORE (Concerned Ohio Retired Educators)