Can I get a witness? Illinois has not paid the teacher retirement health system in 17 months. $10 million short a month.

From Illinois Retired Teachers Association Executive Director Jim Bachman.

IRTA Executive Director Jim Bachman.

At a recent meeting of the TRIP Advisory Committee we were notified by the Department of Central Management Services (CMS), that the Comptroller had not made the State’s payment to the Teachers Health Insurance Security fund since January 2017. The State’s payment is approximately $10 million a month. Therefore, the State currently owes the fund approximately $170 million.

The fund is where all TRIP money is deposited. The fund has the following contributors: TRIP participants’ premiums, Active teachers (percentage of payroll), School districts (percentage of payroll), State of Illinois (matches the active teachers’ portion) and the federal government. Due to the lack of the State’s payment insurance companies are not being paid on a timely basis as in the past. Therefore, if the insurance companies are not getting paid in a timely manner the doctors and hospitals are not receiving their payments in a timely manner either. CMS has told us some payments have been delayed as much as 200 days.

The IRTA’s contract lobbyist and I met with the Comptroller’s office recently to discuss the lack of payments to the fund. As we assumed, the Comptroller does not have enough revenue to make all required payments on a monthly basis. Therefore, she has decided to make the most necessary payments first and if money is available she will make payments to other needs.

In addition, I asked our law firm of Tabet, DiVito, and Rothstien to provide us an opinion on whether IRTA had standing to sue the Comptroller to compel her to make payments to the Teachers Health Insurance Security fund. In short, our law firm replied that the IRTA can bring a mandamus action to compel the Comptroller to pay TRIP payments.

A lawsuit would be a last resort. What we are asking you as TRIP participants is if you begin to experience your doctors or hospitals asking for payment up front for any procedure in lieu of them waiting for payment from the insurance company to notify the IRTA. At that time the IRTA Board of Directors will determine our course of action.


James Bachman
IRTA Executive Director

4 thoughts on “Can I get a witness? Illinois has not paid the teacher retirement health system in 17 months. $10 million short a month.

  1. Slowly but surely we all will realize that there just is not enough money to fix these problems, then what?
    The end game here appears to be a planned spiral into some form of bankruptcy for Illinois and it’s gov’t units.

      1. A.) There is not enough wealthy people in IL to pay of the beyond enormous debts, not even close.
        b.) The wealthy do pay more (albeit not totally enough) in the form of sales and property taxes (Million dollar houses/Mercedes etc…)
        C.) Living in reality(the real world) shows that as taxes are raised on “wealthy” people, more they will just move to another state. It is already happening and will continue to do so as soon as IL raises their state income tax(next year).
        D.) The raise from 3.5 to 4.95% on the income tax is estimated to raise 5 billion a year. The ignorant soda tax, around 200 million a year. IL needs over a 100 BILLION just for pensions. There is NO WAY out, except for bankruptcy down the road. It is FACT. Nickel and diming people is just putting off the inevitable.

  2. Just like in Chicago there is all kinds of money for flowers in the medians, basketball stadiums, tif money for mayor 1% pet projects, and so on. Yep, money for everything except the help.

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