For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2006
Senator Jeff Rabon
Sen. Rabon Passes First Health Benefits Increase for Retired Teachers/
Retired State Workers in Six Years
Legislation giving retired educators and retired state employees
their first health benefits increase in six years is on its way
to the House for consideration. That’s after language by Sen.
was approved by the full Senate late Tuesday afternoon as an amendment
to HB 2986.
When benefits were last raised during the 2000 session, they were
increased from $75 a month to $105. Rabon’s amendment would
nearly double the current state benefit of $105 a month for health
care to $205 dollars.
“This has been a tremendous concern for both our retired
teachers and our retired state workers. They’re trying to
make it on a fixed income with a medical benefit that hasn’t
been increased since July 1, 2000,” explained Rabon, D-Hugo.
“I know some of them spend a large part of their monthly pension
check on health care. They desperately need an increase in their
There are currently 13,916 retired state employees who would benefit
from the $100 increase in health benefits and 25,381 retired teachers
who would be eligible. Rabon urged House members to approve the
legislation as soon as possible.
Rabon said he was hopeful that legislators would not leave those
Oklahomans at the bottom rung of the ladder behind in order to approve
necessary tax cuts. He urged retired state employees and teachers
to contact their representatives and ask for their support on the
“We’re talking about more than 39,000 retirees who
really are struggling to make it right now—they need our help
and we are in a position to do that right now,” Rabon said.
“These are men and women who devoted their lives to teaching
generations of Oklahoma children and helping provide our state with
healthcare and countless other services. Now it is up to the House
to make sure they get the increase in health care benefits they
need and deserve.
For more information,
Senator Rabon's Office: (405) 521-5614