Retired teachers' insurance coverage in jeopardy under government shutdown

COBDEN, IL (KFVS) - The shutdown of the federal government on Monday is hitting thousands of retired teachers here in Illinois.

The State of Illinois' Central Management Services has hired an Indiana auditing firm to verify information on retired teachers spouses and or dependents.

Those retired teachers received their letter from HMS Employee Solutions, auditing company on Monday afternoon. The letter request those former teachers to provide the company with a Income Tax Return Transcript by October 25th.

A regular tax return is not acceptable.

Now, William Britt of Cobden is worried about what is going to happen to his wife's insurance coverage under the Teacher Retirement Insurance Plan.

"The letter plainly states that failure to respond with verification letter will result in the removal of your dependant from the Teacher Retirement Insurance program," Britt said.

His calls to the Internal Revenue Service go unanswered because those employees are furloughed under the government shutdown.

"Of course I won't be dropped, only my wife would," Britt said. "Linda is a borderline diabetic and has to take medicine and stuff. It's just a real concern to me. I can't afford to not have her covered . And I can't provide these people with the documents they want."

Britt said when he called the Indiana company to inform them about the situation he was told that he could get the form required online.

"Yes, I can go online and request it. But if there's no one there to push the button to tell the machine to print the document I need, and then someone to fold that document and put in the mail to me it does no good to request the document online," Britt said.

He's worried about what he's going to do if his wife is dropped from the insurance coverage he paid into as part of his retirement plan from the State of Illinois, as a teacher for more than 34 years.

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