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Governor Signs Bill Providing Vision Care Program for State University Retirees
Date:10/10/2007

Twenty thousand CSU retirees will benefit

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The governor on Monday signed SB 235 allowing California State University (CSU) retirees to participate in a self-funded comprehensive vision care program.

"We are very grateful that the Legislature and governor have recognized the need to provide this important program to all state retirees," said Barbara LaPlante, President of CSEA Retirees, Inc. "When people have good vision care, they have a greater chance of retaining their independence and serious conditions may be diagnosed sooner."

CSEA Retirees, Inc. is the sponsor of SB 235 by Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Monterey, establishing the CSU vision program. Retirees were also behind last year's AB 2242 by Assemblymember Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, which allowed most state retirees into a program similar to the Vision Services Plan (VSP) that active employees enjoy. The participating retirees pay the insurance premium of about $8.78 for a single; $17.12 for two people; and $18.43 for a family in exchange for the comprehensive plan with group rates.

But CSU retirees were not included in AB 2242. The inequity is now resolved under SB 235. An estimated 20,000 California State University retirees will be eligible to participate. The Office of the Chancellor of CSU will administer the program for the CSU participants. The cost and startup date for the CSU program have not yet been determined.

The VSP plan for other state retirees is administered by the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA). The DPA program was operational within several months of the signing.

The two vision care programs culminate an 18-year legislative struggle for CSEA Retirees, Inc. After many steps forward and back, Gov. Davis actually signed similar vision care legislation several years ago. But money was not included in the state budget to administer the program.

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SOURCE California State Employees Association Retirees, Inc.
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