Not good....just when there is a move to get more folks insured...is this a double standard..BD
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a legal challenge brought by AARP concerning an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling that employers can reduce benefits for retirees who reach age 65 and become eligible for Medicare, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/25).
The EEOC ruling, published in the Federal Register, allows employers to create two classes of retirees -- those younger than age 65 and those older than 65 -- and offer different benefits to each group. In addition, the ruling allows employers to eliminate or reduce benefits provided to spouses or dependents of retirees older than 65 (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 1/2). David Certner, AARP's legislative policy director, said, "This double standard -- one tier of coverage for those under 65, and another, lower tier for those 65 and over -- is especially troubling because it comes from the EEOC, the federal government agency created to enforce anti-discrimination policies." Certner added, "The timing of this new rule couldn't be worse. Due to rising costs and fixed incomes, many retirees are already forgoing needed services that have simply become unaffordable" (Cox/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/25).