Before he got the note, Hollander had never been in the health insurance market before, having received coverage from his employer since he first started with Xerox in the 1950s. ¬† After the news, he struggled to calculate how much he would have to pay, and how much that would affect his finance. ¬†
“I don’t know,‚ÄĚ he sighed. ¬†‚ÄúIt’s the unknown that killing me. before, I would know.”
The letters from Xerox warned thousands of workers that benefits of the ‚ÄúNew Plan‚ÄĚ for those who retired in the 1990s, and the ‚ÄúFlex plan‚ÄĚ which succeeded it would be eliminated at the end of December, and that employees covered by the ‚Äúold plan,‚ÄĚ who had retired before the 90s would start having to pay for half their coverage, most of it supplemental coverage for their Medicare.
Xerox declined to comment to News 10 NBC on the issue.
Industry observers said it was not a promising sign that, in the midst of its struggle to stay afloat, Xerox was turning to deep cost cuts in its retirement plans, but considered the move understandable given Xerox‚Äôs position in a market of businesses, many of which already had lower costs because they offered leaner benefits.¬†Chuck Wade with Brighton Securities called the Xerox plans ‚ÄúCadillac‚ÄĚ benefit packages.
‚ÄúThese companies took care of you while you work there,‚ÄĚ he said, ‚Äúand they made the promise to take care of you when you when you retire. Unfortunately, times change and what they are realizing is that they have to change the benefit packages too.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThe company is not the company that I joined in 63,‚ÄĚ said Dave Coriale, a retired Xerox employee turned advocate who tried
unsuccessfully to sue the company after its last round of retirement benefit cuts.¬†Coriale estimated most of the affected retirees would be hit with about $ 200 dollars more in costs a month to keep up their coverage.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs basically the beginning of the end,‚ÄĚ he declared. ¬†‚ÄúThey are cutting off the retirees.‚ÄĚ
Scott and Joyce Hollander expected that to fully replace their coverage, Medicare supplement coverage and dental, not including prescription drugs, they could end up paying $5000 more a year, a damaging blow to their finances.
‚ÄúRight now we‚Äôre starting sit back and say ‚ÄėOkay, What can we cut back on that we don‚Äôt absolutely need?‚Äô‚ÄĚ Hollander said. ¬†‚ÄúWe had thoughts of going down to Florida for January and February. ¬†We‚Äôve already canceled that. There is no way I can afford to spend that money right now considering I don‚Äôt know what things are going to cost me.‚ÄĚ