Sangamon County judge issues injunction ending health care premium hike

SPRINGFIELD - A preliminary injunction barring Illinois from collecting higher health care insurance premiums from retired state employees has been issued by a Sangamon County judge.

On Thursday, Judge Steven Nardulli issued the preliminary injunction to stop the deductions, following a July ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court which reversed a lower court's decision allowing the state to require retirees to pay for a portion of their own health care.

The Illinois Supreme Court said state-subsidized health insurance is a protected pension benefit, and that the state cannot charge premiums for it.  However, the state continued to deduct premiums from pension checks after the ruling because the case was sent back to the lower court for reconsideration.

According to officials, the withholdings should stop for checks issued October 1, but it is unknown how premiums paid since July 1, 2013 will be returned to retirees.
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