Case New Holland retirees losing healthcare benefits

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -- A former Case New Holland employee says he and his wife have to look for new health insurance, because after august 31st, they are losing all their company benefits. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that CNH would no longer have to provide no cost health benefits to retirees.

When Thomas Jacobson retired from Case New Holland, he thought he and his wife would have health benefits for the rest of their life. So he was shocked to receive a packet in the mail a couple months ago saying that won't be an option anymore.

“Nothing previous that hinted to us that they were going to cancel. Until just a month ago or so, where everyone got this thing in the mail,” said Jacobson.

On February 20th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled CNH retirees will no longer get no cost benefits. Instead they will either have to get new insurance or accept and pay for the benefits the company is currently offering. Jacobson says he and the rest of the other retirees did not see this coming.

“They've had the rug pulled from under them, in other words kicked under the bus. They have no options, except very expensive options,” said Jacobson.

Jacobson says he and his wife are currently covered until August 31st. He says he has Medicare and being a veteran he will have VA assistance, but his wife doesn't qualify for Medicare yet and choosing the company's option is something they can't afford.

“If we accept this plan plus dental and vision. It's going to cost us $378 a month. We are just a basic middle income family and the premiums coming out of our pockets every month are going to hurt big time,” said Jacobson.

For nearly 39 years, Jacobson worked for the company, but the security he once felt isn't there anymore.

“Hate to be crying that now I got to start paying medical premiums like a lot of other people do, but for 56 years, I didn't have to. I was covered for life,” said Jacobson.

TV6 reached out to CNH, here’s what they said:

This statement is from Brian French, Vice President of Human Resources in North America for CNH Industrial:

• Although the Supreme Court’s Reese decision would allow CNH Industrial to eliminate the benefits entirely, we decided instead at this time to modify the benefits and cost structure to bring them more in line with the benefits and cost structure of current UAW retirees.

• The current Plan enjoyed by the Reese group will end on August 31, 2018. A modified Plan takes effect September 1, 2018. Retirees must enroll in the modified Plan if they want benefits coverage after August 31; there will not be automatic or “carryover” enrollment from the old Plan.

• The modified Plan has the same, or very similar, medical, dental and vision benefits and costs as the Plan enjoyed by UAW-represented workers who retired after December 2004. For example, the monthly premiums are the same for each group of retirees, as is the annual deductible. Preventive care is covered 100%.

• For Medicare-eligible participants and/or their spouses, prescription drug coverage is not included. Those who are Medicare-eligible need to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if they want to have prescription drug coverage after August 31.

• We are committed to helping the Reese group understand the modified Plan, answer their questions and assist them in enrolling in the modified Plan between July 9-20.