At Joe Robach’s (of Rochester) Kodak forum, many retirees were concerned with the fate of health care benefits. In recent news, Kodak decided to withdraw its motion to eliminate the Medicare Enhancement Benefits for retirees who retired after October 1, 1991. According to EKRA, as a result of the decision, retirees do not need to find new coverage or switch right now. This means (according to Eastman Kodak Retiree Association) that May 1st is no longer the effective date for termination of Kodak sponsored health care for those who retire after 10/1/91. Although, retirees should still become familiar with all their options just in case there is any change in this decision. Eastman Kodak Retiree Association (EKRA) is a group of retired Kodak employees, managed entirely by volunteers, develops and provides benefit and pension information to their members. For more information, people should check out their website (http://ekra.org/).
Kodak also filed a motion which would support the formation of a Kodak Retirees Committee. It seems that this committee will act as the authorized representative of the retirees with respect to any future proposals to modify Retiree Medical and Survivor Benefits. The idea of a retirees committee was discussed at length last month at a hearing before the US Bankruptcy Court in a New York City regarding Kodak’s proposed Medicare Advantage cuts. Judge Gropper is scheduled to hold a hearing April 16 on the new retiree committee motion.
This new decision will most likely put Joe Robach’s legislation at the state level on hold for a bit. Again, Joe Robach’s legislation would make Kodak retirees who do not yet qualify for Medicare eligible for Healthy NY in the event Kodak’s health benefits are terminated. This legislation is pending in the New York State Senate’s Insurance Committee. People should contact Joe Robach’s office if they need more information.