Proving once again that SAANYS is on the forefront of retiree health insurance issues, attorney Andre Dalbec has obtained a major health insurance victory for a member. This member was denied the contractually provided health insurance in retirement, despite having met the requisite number of years of service to the district, because he was not yet eligible to collect his pension through TRS at the time he retired from the district. Mr. Dalbec was able to prove that the only requirements under the contract were: (1) ten years of service to the district and (2) retirement from the district (not from the retirement system), leading to an arbitrator holding that the member was entitled to district funded health insurance in his retirement, as well as out of pocket expenses for the period of time in which he was denied health insurance.
The district appealed the arbitrator’s decision to the state supreme court. On May 29, 2015, the court upheld the arbitrator’s decision, calling it “well-reasoned” and confirmed that the member is entitled to retiree health insurance and related out of pocket expenses.