If you are a taxpayer in NJ, you should read this full story. While this is about NJ, the generosity and mismanagement of government workers benefits is widespread.
The root cause in most cases is the relationship between public employee unions and the politicians who are supposed to negotiate with them.
About fifteen years ago I was on the board overseeing these benefits. I lasted three meetings before I resigned in face of the mismanagement. First the board ignored their own actuaries suggested premium increases, thus insuring a deficit the following year. Next it was recommended that the co-pay for the retiree Rx plan be raised from $0 to $1.00 and that too was rejected. That was enough for me. In the following years some changes have been made, but not nearly enough to align these workers benefits with the benefits available to the taxpayers footing the bill.
New Jersey’s health plan for school employees pays out-of-network providers virtually whatever they want. Dozens of acupuncturists and physical therapists earned more than $200,000 in 2018 from school staff alone. One brought in $1 million.