South Carolina is requiring all of us retired state employees to produce documentation to keep our dependents insured. The letter I received was so confusing that I had to call to get clarification. (I have a doctorate) We must submit proof that we are married or have children.
The required documents can be pricey: I am paying $24 for a marriage certificate; birth certificates cost the same. I can afford that, but this could be onerous for lower-income retirees. For common-law marriages, you must provide a notarized “Common Law Marriage Affidavit.”
The Public Employee Benefit Authority website claims that, “According to most experts, 4 to 8 percent of the dependents covered under an employer-sponsored plan are ineligible for coverage.” I am skeptical. Did those “experts” study long-term employees such as state retirees? I expect that, like with the photo ID law for voting, most of those who lose benefits will be legitimate dependents of retirees who are confused and intimidated by the process, or have other bills that need to be paid.
Samuel L. Baker
Never miss a local story.