Many retirees who worked for Monroe County are scrambling to find a new health plan for 2018.

The county is no longer paying for healthcare for retirees who are of-age to receive similar Medicare plans (65 and up), which are fully subsidized by the federal government. 

It’s a move that will save the county an estimated $1 million annually, and put $600 in the pocket of those retirees for healthcare costs like co-pays and prescriptions.

Though a group of former county workers gathered Tuesday for a CSEA-sponsored information session on what their options are moving forward. 

Chris Zaffuto, who worked nearly 40 years with the county health department, was one of many retirees who recently got a letter saying the county would no longer pay for their healthcare.

Monroe County’s Director of Human Resources, Brayton Connard, said the decision will allow retirees to see more benefits.

“More flexible, more freedom of choice, and we’ll provide them with help with co-pays and offer them the choice of multiple plans and multiple insurance carriers. That’s never happened before,” Connard said on Monday in an interview with News 8.

Though many are concerned this move violates the terms of their union contract upon retirement.

“They were told that when you retired, you took the insurance that you had with you through retirement at no cost to you,” said Zaffuto. 

The county estimates 1,800 retires will have to find a new healthcare plan in 2018, with a deadline of December 7th.