Mayor Henry vetoes plan to change retired firefighters’ health insurance

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry decided to veto a plan that would change retired city firefighters’ health insurance in 2017 Friday.

According to President of Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Local 124, Jeremy Bush, the fire department has a 30-year history of a multi-tiered health insurance plan for retirees. In recent years, fire department retirees have been able to choose between a $600, $1200, and $3400 deductible plan. Current members of the Fort Wayne Fire Department contribute 30% of their first three years salary to health insurance funds for retirees and do not have to pay premiums.

According to Bush the City of Fort Wayne administration met to discuss benefits and insurance deductibles for public officials in the fall of this year. During that meeting, he said the administration voted to remove the $600 deductible plan, effectively doubling deductibles for retirees who were enrolled in the plan.

Bush said he reached out to the administration multiple times to negotiate on the issue, but did not come to a resolution. Bush began meeting with the Fort Wayne City Council as early as October. Last Tuesday, the Council approved an ordinance that would require the city to reimburse retired firefighters enrolled in the $1200 deductible plan by up to 50%, effectively restoring the $600 deductible plan.

Mayor Henry said he decided to stop the approval of the ordinance because City Council already approved the 2017 budget and that the ordinance would force the city over budget.

To see the full proposal that was approved by the City Council, visit City of Fort Wayne.