Unfunded health costs for California workers tops $48 billion | SierraSun.com

Unfunded health costs for California workers tops $48 billion

SACRAMENTO ” As if the state’s budget problems weren’t big enough, California’s unfunded obligation for future government retiree health benefits has now topped $48 billion.

In his latest report on the topic, state Controller John Chiang said Tuesday the amount California is obligated to pay but has not funded is $340 million more than previously projected.

Future obligations now stand at $48.2 billion. The tab would have been higher had the California Public Employees’ Retirement System not used surplus money to offset rising health care rates.

CalPERS, the nation’s largest health purchaser behind the federal government, covers 783,000 state employees, retirees and their family members.

A bipartisan panel appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger handed over a voluminous report in January 2008 recommending pension reforms.

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