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Retirement Healthcare Benefits - US Airlines

Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:47 am

What kind of healthcare benefits do US airlines offer retirees? What are the eligibility requirements?
Posts: 6272
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Retirement Healthcare Benefits - US Airlines

Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:53 pm

Airlines which have gone through bankruptcy and shed their pension plans to the US Pension Benefit Guaranty Board have no retiree health care benefits.

People age 65 and older are normally eligible for Medicare - the US federal social insurance program - if they have paid Medicare insurance taxes for 10 years during their working career. That would include anyone who was elibible for retirement from almost any company. The person must be a US citizen, or permanent legal resident for at least 5 years.

It provides several tiers of care.

Basic Part A - is 'free' to everyone and provides inpatient hospital care. The patient pays the first $140, then $1,156 for the first 60 days of hospitalization. It goes up from there.

Part B - is for outpatient services like doctor visits, lab tests, etc. It is optional and costs the retiree $99.90 per month, plus co-pays for some services.

Most retirees with Parts A & B hopefully have supplemental insurance (which was often a retirement benefit from their company - but will have to be paid out of pocket by most airline retirees). Say $100-$250 per month.

Part C - Medicare Advantage - is a combination of Part A and Part B with costs to the individual but provides a managed care (HMO/PPO) type plan. Many also combine some prescription coverage.

Part D - Prescription drugs - is relatively new coverage - started in 2006 - it is not comprehensive and includes extra costs for the patient.

Bottom line - most airline employees in the US who previously had medical coverage subsidized by their companies are not paying $250-$400 per month extra for coverage under Medicare alone.

This is one reason people get so upset about having their pension plans 'shed' by the company when they retire. Even if their actual pension payments did not decrease - their medical coverage costs have gone up $3,000 or more per year.
Not all who wander are lost.
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:59 pm

RE: Retirement Healthcare Benefits - US Airlines

Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:37 pm

Single payer system is the way to go for all employees. Very few people with Medi-Care (Single Payer) want to give it up! With single payer, you get the costs of health care off the back of employers and provide security to employees who now, if they lose their jobs, lose their health insurance, too.

[Edited 2012-03-08 06:40:35]

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