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Fewer retirees get job drug coverage

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NEW YORK, Jul 23, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The number of people retiring with health insurance from their employers has dropped significantly since 1996.

The New York Times reported Wednesday many recent retirees are now without coverage for prescription drugs.

The overall percentage of Medicare beneficiaries with employer-sponsored coverage has remained relatively steady, according to the study. But the percentage of younger Medicare beneficiaries with coverage fell to 39 percent in 2000 -- the most recent information available -- from 46 percent in 1996.

The study shows future decreases in the number of retirees covered under their employers plans is "starting from a base that is lower than most people believe," said Bruce Stuart, one of the study's authors. Stuart is the executive director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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