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Changes in Health Care for Retired Workers Health plans for retired workers are always changing and its not for the healthier The workforce had changed remarkably causing retirement plans to decline Current workers are being pressure to pay more out of pocket These retirees are rarely helped out even when they are it isnt enough It is difficult for employees to provide the best health care for their workers and remain competitive in todays economy Employers are providing health care to stay competitive in the marketplace but this trend is dissipating These employers are finding it increasingly difficult to provide these benefits to retired workers Current law severely limits employers ability to pre-fund retires health care obligations As a result of this law employers have capped contributions increased co pays increase employee contributions or even eliminating benefits all together The Employee Retirement Income Act states that employers are not required to provide any health care coverage to their workers either active or retired Although once they decide to offer benefits they must follow certain requirements Currently only thirty five percent of employers sponsor retiree health care leaving many with out access Employers who offer medical coverage for retirees went from forty percent in 1993 to twenty percent in 2001 That leaves more than three quarters of the retired population with out health coverage Health care costs are rising for both active and retired employees and new pension funding requirements have wiped out corporate benefits budgets This leaves less money for the retiree to live healthy in a world that is to expensive The employers are focusing on health care costs and are not able to absorb additional cost increases Retirees depend on health care from current or past employers and its the only likely source of affordable reliable coverage In 2003 cost for employer plans increased about fifteen percent Cost for prescription drugs went up sixteen percent in 2002 and premium rates for
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