Rule Threatens Retiree Health Benefits

New regulation allows bosses to dump health insurance for those over 65
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2007 5:00 AM CST
Members of AARP listen as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls for health care reform during a rally. The AARP attacked the new rule from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying it...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A new policy will let employers cut or drop medical benefits for retirees once they pass the age of 65 and qualify for Medicare. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has created a specific exemption from age discrimination rules that will allow employers to create two classes of retirees with different benefits, the New York Times reports.

The AARP slammed the policy shift, but representatives for both employers and labor groups said the change was needed, pointing out that those ineligible for Medicare need the benefits more. "If companies had to provide identical benefits for retirees under 65 and over 65, they would drop benefits altogether for both groups,” a commission lawyer noted.