AARP Louisiana has strong concerns about the sweeping changes recently proposed by the Office of Group Benefits (OGB), and we urge all parties involved to slow down and reconsider this proposal.

The health care changes proposed will affect 230,000 active and retired employees. It is no small decision.

Current and near retirees are the focal point of AARP’s advocacy. These public employees have spent careers as teachers, firemen and police officers, and often live paycheck to paycheck in retirement.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Office, the average cost increase for retirees will be 47 percent.

This immense increase to health care costs is unmanageable for many retirees, who have no time to alter their strategy for a financially secure retirement.

Alterations made to retiree health care costs should be debated openly and purposefully. Retirees should be given the opportunity to comment on the impact changes would have on their households and must have time to adjust to any changes made.

In the meantime, we hope the Office of Group Benefits will re-examine this monumental proposal and do what is right for our Louisiana state employees.

Andrew Muhl

AARP of Louisiana

Baton Rouge