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Retired City Workers Lose Bid for Health Insurance

(CN) - Retired city workers in Oregon are not entitled to health insurance coverage, the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday.

Four former employees of Medford, Ore., claimed the city violated their due process rights by denying them coverage after retirement. They cited a state law mandating such coverage for retirees until they become eligible for Medicare.

The district court ruled for Medford, explaining that nothing in state law gives the retired workers a constitutionally protected property interest in insurance coverage after retirement.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit agreed.

"We reach this conclusion because [the law] does not contain a particularized standard, because the nature and the extent of the entitlement that it allegedly creates are too indeterminate, and because it allows local governments extensive functional discretion regarding whether and to what extent it will be possible to offer health insurance coverage to retirees," Judge Susan Graber wrote for the Portland-based panel.

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