COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Franklin County judge Friday denied a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit seeking to maintain current healthcare coverage for Ohio’s retired first responders that are not yet on Medicare. 

Citing chaos and time, the judge denied the restraining order around 3:30 p.m. Friday. The judge says if he would have allowed the temporary restraining order, it would have caused more chaos to the people already enrolled.

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The main argument inside the courtroom was time. The plaintiffs argued that police and fire retirees were only given the details to their new plans on Nov. 1 of this year, and as some of those members searched for their 2019 coverage, they were unhappy with the choices–or lack thereof–available in the new plan. 

Another reason the judge sided with the police and fire pension board was because it was unclear how the more than 23,000 retirees already enrolled in plans for 2019 would be affected if the temporary restraining order was put in place. 

“We feel the judge made the right decision because an injunction at this point would have caused irreparable harm to our membership, 23,000 are enrolled in new plans,” Mary Beth Foley with Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund said. 

“We’re disappointed,” countered Joel Campbell, attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit. “I think we were hopeful that the court would be able to make a decision that would enable the 3,000 people you heard about get coverage.”

The Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund is eliminating its health insurance coverage in 2019; instead, retirees not yet old enough to be covered through Medicare will be given a stipend to help pay for insurance on the private market. 

Most concerning for many retirees is that the stipend has to be used through a managed platform company called Aon, with few choices in doctors or hospitals. In Franklin County, for example, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the James Cancer hospital are not covered.

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