AT&T retirees were surprised when the company recently sent information related to open enrollment for the retiree medical benefits. Retirees under the age of 65, who are not eligible for Medicare, saw premium increases of hundreds of dollars a month for coverage under the standard PPO plan. Retirees on Medicare saw a jump in premiums of about 500% for supplemental insurance. CWA and the Alliance believe that the company should have done more for retirees, as AT&T enjoys healthy profits and significant dividends for shareholders. “Corporate executives should do more to assure that former employees who built the company have quality, affordable health care, and don’t flounder in unilateral, drastic and unprecedented increases,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance For Retired Americans..
Some in the company told retirees that the reason for the extraordinary increases is the Affordable Care Act. Nothing could be further than the truth. In fact, there are two provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would impact AT&T’s retiree health plan. First, it improves Medicare by including full coverage of preventive care and recapturing overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans. Second, the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program set aside funds for employers who offer retiree health benefits, rebating $213.8 million to AT&T between 2011 and 2012 to offset the cost of claims from early retirees. Both these provisions eased the company’s cost burden, but AT&T has chosen not to share that cost relief with retirees.
In 2012, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson earned $22.23 million, 642 times the average worker’s pay ($34,645). Please take action and tell him that passing down increases to the tune of 500% in monthly premiums for supplemental health care is uncalled for. Send him an email by using this link: [http://bit.ly/1cKhZ3m] or send him a letter: Randall L. Stephenson / Chairman, Chief Executive Officer / AT&T Corporation / 208 South Akard Street / Dallas, Texas 75202-4206.