CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Twenty years ago, Kevin Gunn was the president of Cleveland Firefighters Local 93.
Today, he and his wife Diana are fighting his Alzheimer’s. He was diagnosed about a year after he retired.
They are also fighting cuts in their medical coverage from the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Board. The fund eliminated medical insurance coverage and replaced it with a monthly stipend.
The problem is the stipend isn’t nearly enough to pay for the Gunns’ coverage or others who are not old enough to qualify for Medicare and have to purchase on the open market.
The examples are frightening. Kevin’s prescriptions used to cost $50 a month. Now they cost $265. Diana’s previous monthly cost was $70, now it has jumped to an eye-popping $4,165 a month. The deductible on their old plan was $750. Under the new coverage, it is $6,700 with an $8,000 out of pocket, four-times the previous one.
A pension fund spokesman said that the insurance changes were mandated by increasing medical costs and as a way to protect the pension portion of their portfolio, its primary function. He added that the board struggled with the decision.
It affects 8,000 families in Ohio.