Insurance Premiums To Go Up For Retired Police Officers
OKLAHOMA CITY - Several retired Oklahoma City Police Officers were sounding off at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. They're upset because they just learned their health insurance rates will be going up 56%.
The hike affects city employees who are retired, but under the age of 65; about 380 former employees. A large majority are retired police officers who say they came to work every day and put their lives on the line, and now they city need to step up and help them in return.
Immediately upon meeting Cliff Skopak, it's obvious what's under the hood.
“It’s 30 years of being a cop, you can’t get rid of it,” he laughed. He’s now retired. “All of it in patrol and patrol beats your body up, so I’m not even employable.”
But just a couple days ago he learned his health insurance premium next year will be going up from $608 dollars a month to $960 for coverage for him and his son. He along with about 25 other retired officers were at Tuesday’s city council meeting begging the city council to do something.
The former officers say the increases will be devastating: A family plan will go up about $600 a month. The city says the insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, raised the rates because of several really expensive claims last year. Officers argue, that's because of the job.
“They’ve got more injuries and they’re making more claims, but most of those injuries came from when they were police officers,” said Jerry Foshee, a former city councilman and attorney speaking on behalf of the officers.
Mayor Mick Cornett admitted there are no easy answers. But promised they will be looking into options.
“I felt your anger today,” he said. “I understand your frustration. I’m hoping that we can figure out something that lessons the damage here because I understand what a blow this could be.”