Employee Benefits:

Extent of Multiemployer Plan Retiree Health Coverage

HRD-90-132: Published: Jul 17, 1990. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent to which companies provide retiree health benefits, focusing on the numbers of: (1) multiemployer health plans with retiree coverage; (2) workers enrolled in such plans; and (3) retirees in such plans.

GAO found that: (1) over 6 percent of all retirees in company-sponsored health plans were covered by multiemployer plans; (2) 32 percent of private-sector workers were enrolled in single-company health plans that provided for continued coverage upon retirement; (3) 31 percent of private-sector workers were in single-company health plans with no retiree coverage; (4) retiree health coverage was especially important for retirees under 65, because most were not yet eligible for Medicare; (5) over half of all multiemployer health plans and 62 percent of plans with retiree coverage were in the construction industry; and (6) one-third of companies with health plans for active workers or retirees required contributions to help pay for the cost of coverage.

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