IBM, Time Warner To Move Retirees Off Health Plan05:11
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(Patrick H/Flickr)
(Patrick H/Flickr)

Time Warner, Inc. and IBM are joining other large companies such as General Electric in a historic shift, moving retirees from company health insurance plans to insurance exchanges.

Most retirees qualify for Medicare, but retirees have supplemental plans to cover the gaps in government coverage. IBM says instead of directly subsidizing retiree health care plans, it will set up health retirement accounts that retirees can use to buy their supplemental coverage.

The company is citing costs and insists that the move will offer retirees more choice in plans and more control over their money.

Experts in the field say that the move will benefit some employees, who can change from a one-size-fits-all plan to one tailored for them. But workers who need more coverage may end up paying more for their health care.

IBM's move is part of a historic shift in health insurance coverage. The Wall Street Journal reports that among large companies that health care to employees, almost three quarters do not offer it to retirees.

Guest

  • Spencer Ante, deputy bureau chief of the New York Corporate Bureau of The Wall Street Journal. He tweets @Spencerante.

This segment aired on September 9, 2013.

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