I can't believe there hasn't been more publicity about this - I've seen one article, essentially a press release.
The EEOC has just ruled that employers don't have to offer full retiree health benefits to retirees who have reached the age of 65 and qualify for Medicare. They claim this just "formally authorizes the long-standing practice of employers" of paying less for retiree health care after the retiree qualifies for Medicare; they made the decision because the U.S. Court of Appeals (3rd circuit) ruled in 2000 that employers who spend less for health coverage on retirees eligible for Medicare, than they do on retirees who don't yet qualify, are in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
EEOC claims this is "in the public interest", because without the ruling employers would quit offering retiree health coverage to all retirees because of the extra expense for retirees also covered by Medicare. I thought that's what they were doing anyhow. They claim this will preserve retiree health benefits for younger workers while not reducing benefits for older workers. They claim they have broad bipartisan support for this (although while they list the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers, I don't see the AARP listed).
Full disclosure here: I'm retired, and my health insurance comes from my husband's job; and when he retires, theoretically he will continue to get full, lifetime health insurance as a retiree. (Yeah, there are about 8 of those left.) I see this ruling affecting my ability to continue to have health coverage, and it scares the liver out of me. I'm about to turn into one of the "older workers" who will get reduced health benefits; and while I'm generally in good shape, I have a number of chronic conditions that require regular medications and checks with the doctor, and my health would deteriorate pretty fast if I couldn't get those.
Maybe I'm over-reacting. But let's get cracking on universal health care coverage, huh??