The Obamacare massacre continues: 3M to drop retiree health plans

The Wall Street Journal:

3M Co. confirmed it would eventually stop offering its health-insurance plan to retirees, citing the federal health overhaul as a factor.

The changes won’t start to phase in until 2013. But they show how companies are beginning to respond to the new law, which should make it easier for people in their 50s and early-60s to find affordable policies on their own. While thousands of employers are tapping new funds from the law to keep retiree plans, 3M illustrates that others may not opt to retain such plans over the next few years.

3M has some 23,000 retirees — no word on how many will be affected by this yet. Investor’s Business Daily is calling this the “Obamacare massacre.” Since these stories like this keep emerging, that name just might stick:

That comes on the heels of a report Thursday that McDonald’s was considering dropping its “mini-med” plan for its employees because those plans may run afoul of the forthcoming medical-loss ratio regulations.

Also on Thursday, the Principal Financial Group (PFG) announced it would stop selling health insurance, which means 840,000 employees who receive Principal coverage through their employers will have to look elsewhere. Just the day before, President Obama said, “So there’s nothing in the bill that says you have to change the health insurance that you’ve got right now.” And he’s right: the bill doesn’t say it; it just causes it.

Indeed, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care was giving the lie to Obama’s statement as he was making it. Harvard Pilgrim announced that it would end its Medicare Advantage plans at the end of the year, leaving its 22,000 Advantage customers scrambling for coverage.

A week before that, a number of health plans including Anthem (WLP), Aetna (AET), Cigna (CI), Humana (HUM), CoventryOne (CVH) and some Blue Cross Blue Shield companies decided that they would stop selling coverage in the child-only market.

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