Marriage is love.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


If current trends continue, most Americans who work for private
employers will never receive retiree health benefits, according to the
nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute. An EBRI study found that from 1997
to 2002, the percentage of private employers offering health benefits to
Medicare-eligible retirees -- those 65 and older -- dropped from 20
percent to 13 percent. The percentage offering health coverage to
early retirees -- those younger than 65 -- fell from 22 percent to 13

Some baby boomers may have to "delay retirement because they will not
be able to afford health insurance premiums or out-of-pocket medical
costs," according to Paul Fronstin of EBRI. The study traces the trend back to
a Federal Accounting Standards Board ruling in 1990 that requires
companies to record retiree health benefit liabilities on their financial
statements. That decision and rising health care costs caused many
employers "to overhaul their retiree health benefit programs in ways
that controlled, reduced or eliminated their costs," the EBRI study says.