(The Tennessean) A renewed bid to eliminate heavily subsidized lifetime health insurance for future Metro Council members was slowed down by current council members Tuesday.
Introduced as an amendment to a larger bill dealing with Metro employee and retiree benefits, the proposal would let current members qualify for lifetime health care after serving eight years, or two full terms. Under that plan, council members pay just 25 percent of insurance premiums – the same as retirees who worked for the government full-time – with taxpayers picking up the rest of the tab. Former council members on the plan also would be grandfathered in.
But anyone elected in 2015 or later would have to serve at least 10 years to qualify. They also would have to pay the same rate that city retirees hired starting Jan. 1, 2013, and working for at least 10 years would pay under the larger benefits legislation: 75 percent of insurance premiums.
Existing term limits restrict a council member to two consecutive four-year terms in a district seat or an at-large seat, though he or she can move from one type of seat to another without sitting out a term.
“So basically it makes the council equal with all other Metro employees,” Councilman Phil Claiborne said. “We’re no important … we’re no more deserving than they are.”
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