For the past two years AT&T has cut healthcare benefits, but will the trend continue? The Medicare Open Enrollment for 2023 will start in mid October, so many people are concerned about their healthcare plan during this time of year. AT&T employees who retired after January 1st, 2021 no longer qualified for a healthcare reimbursement account (previously offered by AT&T).
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AT&T’s Summary Plan description states that eligible former employees used to receive an HRA credit of $2,700 for themselves and $1,500 for an eligible dependent. That would be a total healthcare credit of $4,200 per year. Therefore, former couples with a 20-year life expectancy, would have received an HRA credit could account of $84,000 in total.** That is no longer available.
In addition to those cuts AT&T announced that for those who retired in 2022, the company will not pay for a portion of the retiree’s monthly premium for medical or dental. However, this does not currently apply to all AT&T employees, and you should check with the benefits office for information regarding your specific situation.
If AT&T does decide to cut benefits they will not be alone. According to an article in FierceHealthcare, 49% of employers expect to change their benefit structure because the current benefits they offer are too expensive to maintain.
There were even AT&T employees on TheLayoff.com who were skeptical about the idea that this would be the first year in the past three where the company would not be cutting benefits. The person stated “T has cut benefits the past few years, who is to say they would not do it again?”
It should also be noted that AT&T has also cut pension benefits and life insurance benefits in the past few years. This was all part of a $10 billion cost cutting initiative proposed by CEO John Stankey in 2020.