Proposal calls for retired employees to find own insurance

Retired Illinois employees could soon receive an extra 500-dollars a month, as long as they find their own health insurance. A proposal in the state legislature would compensate retirees who pay for private health insurance before they're old enough to qualify for Medicare.

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says the measure could save Illinois about 37-million dollars a year.

"They get an incentive. So we're not paying for their insurance, but we are paying them to decide to go someplace else,” says Currie.

The measure comes as retirees will soon be forced to pay health insurance premiums. It had previously been free for retirees with at least 20 years of service. Officials say retirees could pay to rejoin the state health plan if they lost their private insurance. The plan is part of a labor deal reached last month between Illinois and the state's largest labor union.