Health Benefits for Retirees Continue Decline
USA Today (05/31/01) Vol. 12, No. 23 p.1B; Appleby, Julie

Health care benefits for retirees continue to dwindle, as more companies stop providing coverage after their employees leave. Results from a study conducted by the General Accounting Office (GAO) show that the decline in retiree health care benefits that began in the early 1990s is steadily trending downward. About 37 percent of early retirees and 26 percent of those over the age of 65 have some form of health coverage through their former employers. Compounding problems is a recent appeals court ruling that found that companies that give early retirees different benefits from Medicare-eligible retirees are in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Analysts say the decision may keep employers from offering retiree coverage to new hires, and possibly lead some to lower their early retirees' benefits.

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