Suffolk offers free health care for life to get workers to retire

SMITHTOWN - Suffolk officials are dangling the prospect of free health benefits for life before long-time county workers in a bid to get them to retire. The retirement incentive is being offered only to county workers who are eligible to retire. Any such union or exempt employee can get the free health care forever if they retire before June 30. As News 12 Long Island has reported, Suffolk County is facing a massive budget deficit that could swell to $500 million by next year without drastic measures. The county has already announced layoffs for dozens of county workers, but officials say the retirement incentive won't affect the planned layoffs. County union leaders say they believe more than 200 members will take the deal. It's unclear how much the county will save through the incentive.

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