Judge blocks Providence retirees shift to Medicare

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence cannot unilaterally shift the health benefits of retired police and firefighters from private insurance into Medicare. That's the ruling Monday from a superior court judge.

Providence says medical costs for active and retired workers soaks up more than 15 percent of the city's operating budget, and the move would have saved at least $6 million.

Police and fire retirees filed a lawsuit last year claiming a city ordinance moving retirees into Medicare violated their collective bargaining agreements. In the 47-page decision Judge Sarah Taft-Carter says a unilateral alteration of a vested benefit substantially changes an agreement.

Read the Decision
Read Superior Court Associate Justice Sarah Taft-Carter's decision here.

Hear the Discussion
Click on the audio icon to hear Scott MacKay's analysis.

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