A federal court in Philadelphia has issued a ruling that could help employers continue to offer richer health benefits for retirees under age 65 than for retirees who are old enough to qualify for Medicare.[@@]
U.S. District Judge Anita Brody made the ruling in connection with a case pitting AARP, Washington, against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
AARP says the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act requires employers to offer the same health benefits to early retirees and retirees who have reached the normal retirement age.
The EEOC, employer groups and unions have argued that letting employers coordinate retiree health benefits with Medicare benefits increases the likelihood that employers will continue to offer retiree health benefits.
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Technically, the new ruling focuses on whether the EEOC has the authority to issue regulations that will let employers coordinate retiree health benefits with Medicare benefits.