(The Center Square) – Mesa, Ariz., is expanding its medical benefits for eligible full-time employees to include retirement coverage.
Starting in 2023, Mesa will begin offering lifelong medical insurance coverage to eligible employees in hopes of recruiting and retaining employees.
“The Mesa Way has always been about taking care of our employees by providing competitive wages and benefits so they can take care of themselves and their families,” said Mesa City Manager Chris Brady. in a press release. “Restoring Lifetime Health Benefits is an extension of our focus on the health and well-being of our employees. It starts with free primary and pediatric care at our Mesa Employee Health and Wellness Center and continues. continues with medical coverage once our employees retire from Mesa.”
The city notes that lifetime perks aren’t new to Mesa.
Mesa offered this benefit prior to January 1, 2009. When the city had to cut $62 million from its general fund, it stopped offering the benefit to new hires.
To qualify for the benefit, employees must complete 20 years of employment with the city, with at least 10 consecutive years of employment prior to retirement.
Employees must be retired from work for the city to access their post-retirement health insurance.
“The Valley has a very competitive job market,” Brady said. “We aim to recruit people who are committed to public service and reward those who have dedicated their professional careers to serving the residents and businesses of Mesa.”
The city covers 80% of eligible retirees’ insurance premiums for medical, dental, and vision coverage. It currently has 2,200 retirees benefiting from a medical pension.
About 70% of Mesa’s roughly 3,900 full-time employees have been hired since early 2009. They could be eligible for retirement medical benefits beginning in 2029.
The city will start saving for the program this year. It will set aside $26 million from the general fund to generate revenue to pay for the program, according to KTVK.
The city of Mesa could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.