Retirees angry about being turned away from meeting

Published 11/22 2013 11:22AM

Updated 11/22 2013 11:27AM

CHAMPAIGN -- Dozens of retirees, hoping for help, were turned away instead. Last month, thousands of retired state workers lost their insurance. Friday, they were hoping to get answers at one of two meetings, but some didn't. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley finds out why.

Crowds piled inside these doors, all of them wanting help with paper work, which, to them, signifies so much more. Phyllis Overman recently retired from the Champaign School District. She might have left the classroom, but recently, found out, she's not done studying.

"I've done a lot of reading."

She's spent hours at this table, looking into health insurance plans, after she found out last month, she would lose hers.

"We're all scrambling, trying to figure out whether we can keep our doctors, how much more out-of-pocket it's going to cost us."

It's why Overman and hundreds of others tried piling into this room. All of these retirees were here to learn more about enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Health Plan.

"You continue to pay your premiums just like you do now."

But, organizers weren't exactly prepared.

"I mean, I didn't know that people were going to be coming from so far away."

Some as far away as Kankakee were asked to leave.

"I wasn't familiar with what the terminal was, but assumed it must be big enough to hold enough people that we could attend."

"When you have taken healthcare away from that many people, why do you figure that only ten percent will show up? That's just nuts."

Another meeting is now set for next week, although it will only be able to hold 50 more people.

"I don't know how that's going to work."

Overman has less than a month to pick the plan that's right for her. She has a lot of questions she hopes she can get answers to, and fast.

"I'm healthy now, but we don't always all stay that way."

The next meeting takes place at 10 am at the Vineyard Church Auditorium. It seems, yet again, it will be first-come, first-served.

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