Illinois owes $73 billion in retiree health insurance benefits for state workers, yet doesn't have any money set aside to pay for it.

Ted Dabrowski, President of, joined the WROK Morning Show to discuss his article "Illinois’ Other Debt Disaster: $73 Billion In Unfunded State Retiree Health Insurance Benefits."

Illinois' total cost of public worker retiree health benefits has grown by 80 percent over the past decade, reaching a record $73 billion as of 2016.

Illinois funds retiree health insurance on a “pay-go” basis. Instead of setting aside money for future costs like it does for pensions, the state pays retiree healthcare costs as they are incurred.

Wirepoints’ analysis finds this practice will squeeze Illinois’ future budgets as the state struggles to pay for constantly rising pension and retiree health insurance costs. Payments for retiree health insurance will rise from $1 billion today to nearly $6 billion by 2045.

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