"We will get together and see what our options are," Mayor
The city switched health insurance plans for retirees last year in a move to save money.
Coverage went from a traditional
But 122 of the roughly 200 retirees sued the city over the move, saying they had been guaranteed to stay on the Blue plan.
As the suit unfolded, the city moved the remaining retirees, who were not part of the suit, to the Humana plan.
But federal regulations require more than 50 percent of workers to be part of the Humana plan, otherwise it is not permitted to continue in the second year.
The city recently received notice that the Humana plan could not be offered for another year.
As an alternative, the city sought to provide a plan from United Healthcare F and D to those who were moved to Humana.
About 100 retirees showed up at Thursday's special meeting to voice their opposition to the United plan.
He said the switch to Humana has caused stress, forced people to change doctors, and many have been told that Humana would not be accepted.
"We ask that you honor our contractual health-care benefits," Brandstetter said.
He also said he resented statements from the mayor that keeping the Blue plan could mean a large tax increase.
"That's not fair," Bourdeau said.
She said there needs to be more discussions about health-care plans with all parties involved.
"It would be smarter to have all the stakeholders at the table to discuss this," she said.
"I don't want to make the same mistake twice. We really need assurances that everyone is satisfied."
"I owe everyone of you an apology for not recognizing that this (Humana plan) was a stinker," Kelly said.
He also called for more talks with retirees.
"We are not there yet, but we could be," he said. "You have a contract, and we need to honor it."
Councilor Paul "Crusher" O'Connell (D-Ward 4) said he did not think the Humana plan has turned out to be as good as the Blue plan, and if the city has to move the retirees back to the Blue plan then so be it.
"I don't care about budgets," he said. "If we have to go make cuts in other areas then we can do that, and I think we can do it without cutting people or services."
Calnon said since the city offered to pay the difference between Humana and the Blue plan, no retiree has presented a bill in the past year for payment.
He said the city offered the United Healthcare F and D plan to the retirees in March, but they did not want to discuss it until mid September.
Calnon also said that he has the F and D plan for his personal insurance, and he has had surgeries and many other diagnostic procedures and has not "paid a penny," in costs.
"I am in their (retirees) place, and I do understand it," he said.
Kelly offered to table the resolution to approve the United Healthcare F and D plan, but no one seconded it.
Councilors voted four to two to reject the United plan.
Armstrong, Kelly, O'Connell and
Kretser said after the meeting that he felt it was the right thing to do.
"We will research to try to find a plan that will work while keeping an eye on the budget," he said.
"But to compromise what they (retirees) were promised is unacceptable."
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