The Illinois Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) has published an independent study of Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (PSEBA), the statute that grants special health insurance to public safety employees who are catastrophically injured in the line of duty. The study examined the cost and participation trends associated with employees eligible for lifetime health insurance benefits provided for under PSEBA.
COGFA relied on survey results from both 126 individual units of government and 456 individual PSEBA recipients. Results from the study include certain demographics: the largest group of PSEBA recipients are an average age of 54, with the majority of recipients between 40 and 60 years of age. Over 40% of PSEBA recipients received the benefit due to an injury to their back or spine.
Revealed in the study is that 37% of PSEBA recipients are employed, while 155 of the 452 individuals indicated they have insurance available through their employer, their spouse’s employer, or both. The COGFA report also detailed the costs involved for the employers that provide benefits to PSEBA recipients.
In the published results, COGFA pointed out that certain data was unable to be collected and/or analyzed. The statutorily-required form sent to individuals and employers did not answer certain questions regarding health insurance plans. As a result, in part, COGFA was unable to make a determination as to the associated costs and benefit levels of health insurance provided to PSEBA recipients and their spouses from a current employer, as set forth in subsection C of Public Act 98-0561. In addition, the City of Chicago, which accounts for over 1/3 of Illinois residents, did not submit the information requested within the allotted timeframe of the study.