- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The state of Vermont says it has a plan to help retired state workers save money on their health insurance costs by allowing them to get the same prescription drugs available to active state employees.

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding and Vermont State Employees Association President Shelly Martin announced Thursday that the state is going to participate in the Employer Group Waiver Plan, a federal subsidy program for Medicare retirees.

A portion of the plan allows the state to supplement Medicare drug payments so retirees will pay the same deductible, co-insurance, and maximum out-of-pocket limits as active employees.

The program will increase the medical plan savings by up to $2.6 million a year, which will help retires reduce their premiums.

The program is due to begin in January.