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Hawaii to continue retiree Medicare reimbursements

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A proposal to end Medicare Part B reimbursements for retired Hawaii government employees isn’t becoming law this year.

Lawmakers on a conference committee couldn’t agree on the bill last week, and it wasn’t scheduled for further action before the Legislature adjourns Thursday.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie had sought an end to the reimbursements of Medicare Part B premiums, which are deducted from retiree Social Security payments. The proposal would have saved the state government an estimated $42 million next fiscal year.

Lawmakers had considered killing off the reimbursements only for new hires to avoid concerns that reducing accrued benefits would be unconstitutional. But that idea also failed to advance.

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