Q: Obamacare is killing traditional employer-sponsored health insurance
Obamacare is going to kill traditional employer-provided insurance. And that’s probably a good thing. IBM, Time Warner, and now Walgreens have made headlines over the past two weeks by announcing that they plan to move retirees (IBM, Time Warner) and current employees (Walgreens) into private health insurance exchanges with defined contributions from employers.
Retiree health benefits—like lifetime pensions—have been shrinking in the private sector for decades (only about half of large employers still offer them, down from 80 percent 20 years ago), so it’s no surprise that the relatively few companies like IBM that do offer generous post-retirement health benefits are trying to find ways to keep them affordable.