Union retirees who noticed a change in their healthcare benefits.
Co-pays, yearly deductibles, prescription drug costs, monthly premiums, and out-of-pocket maximums.
If you are a union retiree and your health benefits have been lowered, you may be able to join a class action lawsuit against your former employer.
Several lawsuits have been filed alleging that some companies and unions are renegotiating their contracts in such a way that active employees’ benefits are kept the same, but coverage for retirees is reduced. As a result, union retirees have to pay out more in prescription drugs costs, monthly premiums and other healthcare costs.
Were your benefits lowered? Are you paying more for prescription drugs and doctors’ visits? If so, your former employer may owe you compensation.
How Do I Know if My Benefits Were Lowered?
Most retirees whose benefits were lowered would have noticed a change shortly after a contact negotiation for current employees.
You may have received a letter in the mail from your former employer or insurance provider announcing a change in benefits. In some cases, your benefits may have been lowered, while in others, they may have been cut entirely.
If your benefits were lowered, you may have been informed of an increase in certain healthcare costs, such as co-pays. For instance, if you previously had a co-pay of $20 per doctor visit, the letter may have informed you that your co-pay has now increased to $40 per visit.
Other healthcare costs that may have increased include:
Prescription drug costs
Companies Offering Signing Bonuses to Employees to Reduce Retirees’ Benefits
It is believed that some companies are offering current union members bonuses to sign contracts that lower benefits for retirees. By lowering these benefits, and in turn increasing the amount the retiree has to pay out for doctor visits and other medical care, the employer is significantly cutting its own costs. In many cases, it is illegal for companies and unions to negotiate new contracts that cut the benefits of union members who retired under previous labor agreements. Attorneys believe that these union members may be able to take legal action and recover compensation for expenses associated with this change in coverage.