There has been much spirited discussion recently over the shortcomings concerning the changes to the Ohio Police & Fire (OP&F) retiree health care. The stories we are hearing are absolutely tragic and unacceptable. Our 23,000 active and retired members have earned the best level of service from our pension fund. The current transition has been nothing short of a catastrophe. Unreturned calls, missed appointments, representatives with little or no ability to assist, lack of coverage, or no coverage at all in some areas, unreasonable cost, make it clear…AON HAS FAILED!
As part of our commitment to you and as follow up to the health care committee that worked to offer suggestions to the pension fund previously, the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters (OAPFF) is putting together a new health care task force. This task force will gather information to present to the OP&F Board with the goal of creating a health care option that is better than the subpar plans currently offered by AON.
If you have information to contribute to this task force and its work, please reach out to your district vice president. Your DVP’s contact info can be found below.
We ask for your patience while the task force does their work. Because of the current contract between OP&F and AON, no changes can be implemented prior to 2020. Please rest assured that the OAPFF has always worked for our members and we will continue to do so. While we are aware of the fact that the OP&F Health Care Stabilization Fund continues to be depleted at an alarming rate, we will continue to look at any and all funding alternatives.
The OAPFF along with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) have taken the following actions over the last several months:
Strongly encouraged for the delay of the implementation of the healthcare transition until 2020 to allow for our members to better prepare for the change.
Lobbied our Congressional delegation in Washington DC to permit first responders to join Medicare at age 55.
Continued to assist our members having issues with the current transition.
Begun working with the FOP to sever the relationship with AON and allow our members to have quality, affordable health care plans.
Worked with both State and Federal lawmakers to change restrictive rules that hinder our ability to provide funding resources for the OP&F Healthcare Stabilization Fund.
OAPFF Legal Counsel reviewing the entire process, including contract between AON and OP&F.
The Task Force will look at any and all possibilities pertaining to our members’ health care needs. There are no “bad” ideas, and a thorough vetting of all possibilities will be part of this process. We certainly feel that there are better options and we will explore all of them. Health care is a problem in every corner of our nation, and ultimately any permanent solution has to come from the legislature in Washington D.C. Obviously waiting for a political solution is not something that we can bank on.
The OAPFF, along with the FOP, will be proactive in our approach to this issue, and will investigate all options. This will take time, and presenting the best solutions to the OP&F Pension Board will be the goal. AON has not delivered the product that was promised in the public OP&F meetings that we attended. While everyone involved should be held accountable, now is the time to work together to resolve this monumental problem. Rest assured that your OAPFF will do everything we can to facilitate a better product than we currently have.
Stay safe, be informed, and remain united!