Talk about rocking the health care world -- at least as it pertains to retirees. General Motors, which has 100,000 salaried retirees and their dependents on its health care rolls, is dumping them and the $3.3 billion a year it costs the company to provide them with insurance.
In lieu of covering them under the GM health plan, the retirees will get an additional $300 a month tacked onto their pension payments to use toward buying health care -- $3,600 a year to buy insurance that costs a whole lot more than that. They can, however, sign up for Medicare plans starting this week, which is a month earlier than Medicare's enrollment for everyone else.
As a story in the Detroit Free Press noted, "Given costs of the Medicare drug plans, many retirees will wind up paying much more than $300 a month."
With other major companies -- to say nothing of states and localities -- feeling a whole lot of fiscal pressure over retiree health care coverage, it brings up the old saw about GM: Is what's good for General Motors good for the country?
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