Health reform could further erode retiree health benefits

via health populi:

In the long run, it’s said, nothing is sure but death and taxes. In addition to those, there’s an increasingly sure thing: no retiree health benefits from employers.

Once considered a “throw-away benefit” in the 1940s and 1950s when there were few retirees, retiree health benefits are an endangered species.

In Implications of Health Reform for Retiree Health Benefits, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) details the recent history and impacts of legislation on retiree benefits. Starting with FAS 106, the accounting rule change that passed in 1990, the financial treatment of employer-sponsored benefits negatively impacted access to health benefits for retirees. Consider this one of the ultimate game-changers for General Motors and other companies with large legacy employee populations.

Health reform in and beyond 2010 could further erode the retiree health benefit.

Since only 1 in 4 employers offer health insurance to retirees today, the benefit-erosion trend has been steady since the passage of FAS 106.

The intention of President Obama has been, from the beginning of health reform discussions, to build on the U.S.’s unique employer-based health insurance system. However, the emerging plan will probably further erode benefits in retirement – at a minimum, during the gap between retirement and Medicare-eligibility.

Money doesn’t grow on trees. And let’s get this straight. Obama essentially mandates employer provided health insurance. This simply doesn’t make sense for this modern age of freelancing and changing jobs every two to three years.

We should abandon the employer sponsored health insurance. It worked in the 40s and 50s. It no longer works Obama. Our culture changed. It even changed for the out of touch, and soon to be retired (or dead) boomers who designed your handout to the insurance industry reform.

Wouldn’t this money be better spent as an individual in the same way we purchase car insurance? We could decide how to invest our $4 million we spend over our lifetime on healthcare. We could decide how we invest retirement money to ensure we have enough for healthcare.

I’d like to know if a single Gen X or Millenial had a say in this reform. We should be the ones reforming the system, not those who won’t live long enough to feel the pain from their corporate-influenced mistakes. We sure as hell are responsible for your election. And once you got elected, you ignore us and turn it over to the grey hairs. Thanks man.

Health reform could further erode retiree health benefits