An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling from last month allows employers to treat younger and older retirees differently without fear of being sued for age discrimination. It permits companies to maintain or spend more on benefits for younger retirees who aren't eligible for Medicare while reducing or eliminating benefits for older retirees. The EEOC says employers would be more likely to drop health care coverage for all retirees if they had to spend the same amount on insurance for both groups.
The AARP has asked for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the EEOC lacks authority to issue the regulation. The senior group argues that the regulation is discriminatory and shifts the burden of cost to older retirees.
A copy of the EEOC's Q&A on the ruling can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_retireehealthrule.html