This is certainly an interesting shift that should impact a large number of Rochester retirees.
On Dec. 31, IBM is dropping all of its Medicare-eligible retirees from its health insurance coverage.
Maybe I should check with the Rochester IBM retirees group for some comments about this. Wonder if anyone would say anything on the record.
Here's some from an article by Spencer E. Ante of the Wall Street Journal:
International Business Machines Corp.
plans to move about 110,000 retirees off its company-sponsored health
plan and instead give them a payment to buy coverage on a
health-insurance exchange, in a sign that even big, well-capitalized
employers aren't likely to keep providing the once-common benefits as
medical costs continue to rise.
The move, which will affect all
IBM retirees once they become eligible for Medicare, will relieve the
technology company of the responsibility of managing retirement
health-care benefits. IBM said the growing cost of care makes its
current plan unsustainable without big premium increases.
In notices signed by Chief Health Director Kyu Rhee, IBM has told
retirees in recent weeks that to keep receiving coverage, they will need
to pick a plan offered through Extend Health, a large private Medicare
exchange run by New York-based Towers Watson & Co.
"Cost increases under our current retirement group health care plan
are no longer sustainable for you," IBM said in the notices. "Health
care costs under IBM's current plan options for Medicare eligible
retirees will nearly triple by 2020, significantly impacting your
premium and out of pocket costs," the notice said.