MoDOT, Highway Patrol discuss future health care needs

Like most employers around the nation, Missouri government must do more planning for the financial success of its retirement and health care plans, some 11 representatives of the Transportation Department and Highway Patrol’s health care plan were told Monday.

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They gathered in Jefferson City as a special Highways and Transportation Commission committee, to consider changes to the Transportation/Patrol health plan needed to keep it solvent.

Committee members were told that revised national accounting standards show the health care plan must add at least $100 million every year to make sure it can cover all its future needs.

Transportation Director Kevin Keith told the committee that part of the concern is a lack of revenue growth to help pay for the plans.

“Our primary source of funding in Missouri, and nationally, for infrastructure is the fuel tax,” he explained. “That hasn’t changed in 20 years (and) it’s buying about two-thirds of what it did about 20 years ago,” as costs for most products have climbed more than the income.

“We are in the fifth year in a row, now, of the revenue from the fuel tax going down,” Keith added, “and I believe that’s a phenomenon that will not change.”

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