Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Retirees' Health Costs Keep Rising

Higher Prices Begin to Threaten Future Retirees' Benefits, Analysts Say

The Medicare Factor continued...

Some analysts worry that federal subsidies combined with rapidly rising insurance costs could cause many employers to abandon private drug coverage for workers altogether. But Tuesday's survey seemed to show that few employers -- at least right now -- plan on discontinuing their coverage next year, experts say.

Six in 10 companies say they plan on accepting a new Medicare subsidy designed to help them keep existing drug coverage for former workers. Only 8% say they plan on dropping their private coverage, while 13% say they did not yet know.

That finding could be a comfort to retirees who risk losing private drug coverage in favor of a less generous Medicare benefit. But Medicare has not yet released final regulations that are likely to heavily influence how private companies react.

In addition, few employers have begun the process of analyzing drug plans in detail. When they do, the picture could change for retirees seeking coverage for prescriptions in 2006.

"There isn't so far a stampede [by private companies] away from coverage because of [Medicare] drug benefit," Altman says. But he added, "I wouldn't take any conclusions to the bank until we have some real experience."

Calculate
Your Costs

See insurance premium
costs and financial aid.

Start Here

Health Insurance
Advisor

Find a plan that's right
for you.

Start Here

Your State's Insurance Marketplace

Get informed about plans, benefits and costs.

From WebMD
Loading …
URAC: Accredited Health Web Site HONcode Seal AdChoices