JOE ROBACH INTRODUCES BILL TO HELP KODAK RETIREES

At the Kodak informational event in January sponsored by Joe Robach, one of the consistent concerns which kept popping up from the crowd was the fate of retiree health benefits in the wake of Kodak’s bankruptcy.  Many Kodak retirees are concerned that if health benefits are terminated, they will be forced to pay thousands in additional premiums or will be left with no insurance at all.   This problem is particularly concerning to those Kodak retirees who are under the age of 65 because they do not yet qualify for Medicare (Medicare is a federally sponsored health care program for US citizens over the age of 65).  After speaking with many of his constituents who are Kodak retirees, Senator Joe Robach decided to introduce legislation to address this issue at the state level.  Joe Robach introduced a bill that would make Kodak retirees, who have not yet qualified for Medicare, eligible for the Healthy NY program.   More specifically, this bill would allow those (not yet the age of 65) who were guaranteed health benefits when they retired from a company and who lost them through no fault of their own eligible for this program.  Healthy NY is a New York State program which provides reduced cost, comprehensive health insurance to eligible New Yorkers.  It should be noted that this legislation would also make retirees’ spouses and dependents eligible for Healthy NY as well.  If passed into law, this legislation would provide Kodak retirees who are fearful of losing their benefits with a health insurance safety net.  In the Senate, the bill is numbered S.6331 and has been referred to the Senate’s Committee on Insurance.     This bill is also being introduced in the Assembly.  If Kodak retirees have questions about this bill or its status, they should contact Joe Robach or someone in his office.