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July 31, 2003

DRAFT: Lost Coverage and Compensation: What Seniors Will Pay for AMedicare Drug Entitlement

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DRAFT copy of this timely and important study has been made available. It is not for attribution or citation. An official Backgrounder will be published soon.

Millions of American seniors have worked hard their entire lives in the belief that they would receive health insurance benefits, including coverage for prescription drugs, from their employer after retirement. Today, however, their retiree drug coverage is in peril, and their deferred compensation for those benefits could be lost.

Current law makes it quite easy to change existing retiree health benefit policies: a fact that places millions of seniors and their beneficiaries at risk of losing the private coverage they already have. Passage of a universal Medicare drug entitlement will only serve to hasten and accelerate the decline in employer-sponsored retiree health benefits-quality health benefits that many retirees are counting on.

Policymakers should focus on providing prescription drug coverage to those Medicare beneficiaries who really need it rather than on creating perverse incentives for employers to drop the health benefits they have promised to provide to current and future retirees.

A DRAFT copy of this important study has been made available, not for attribution or citation, until the official Backgrounder is published.

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