Fewer Retirees Get Drug Benefits From Employers
New York Times (07/23/03) p.C2; Abelson, Reed

A recent Health Affair study revealed that the number of workers retiring with health insurance coverage from their employers has dropped from 46 percent in 1996 to 39 percent in 2000. The group believes that the study supports the need for a Medicare benefit, structured to prevent employers from eliminating their coverage of retirees. While critics of the legislation contend that a prescription drug benefit for Medicare would only speed up the elimination of employer-sponsored health coverage for retirees, the Employee Benefit Research Institute recently concluded that only between 2 percent and 9 percent would lose coverage after the law is passed. The institute also notes that changes are already occurring in the marketplace regardless of new legislation.

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