EEOC Rule on Retiree Health Care Reductions Stands

March 24, 2008 ( - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a federal appeals court ruling that upholds an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rule allowing employers to reduce health care benefits when retirees become eligible for Medicare, Business Insurance reported.

Last August, the 3rd Circuit unanimously denied a request by the AARP for the full appeals court to review its previous decision that the EEOC has the authority to implement a rule that would exempt from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) health plan changes for retired workers when they become eligible for Medicare (See 3rd Circuit Lets Stand Ruling on Reduction of Medicare-Eligible Retiree Benefits ).

The EEOC first proposed the rule in 2003, but it was never implemented due to the legal challenge. In December, with the legal battle behind it, the EEOC issued the final rule opposition groups tried to prevent (See EEOC Issues Controversial ADEA Exemption for Retiree Health Benefits ).