LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - One of Lafayette's largest manufacturing employers, Arconic, is cutting health care. Arconic was created by Alcoa's separation into two independent companies in late 2016.
The company notified employees last month of its decision to end pre-Medicare medical and prescription drug coverage for non-union employees and retirees. The decision includes coverage for all eligible spouses, surviving spouses, and other dependents.
Spencer Buchanan is president of the United Steel Workers local 1-1-5. The local represents more than 700 hourly Arconic employees. He says those who are current or retired union hourly employees will not see their coverage change. "We have a collective bargaining agreement with Arconic that expires in May that protects them from that action,” said Buchanan.
We reached out to Arconic officials about the decision. They provided a statement reading:
"On September 26th, Arconic informed eligible employees that the Company will end all pre-Medicare medical and prescription drug coverage for non-bargained hourly and salaried employees and retirees, effective December 31, 2018. Arconic regularly reviews our benefit programs to ensure they are cost-effective and allow our business to remain competitive. This difficult decision was made due in large part to low enrollment and provide more consistent benefit offerings across its employee population."
According to the letter, only 35 percent of those eligible for coverage enrolled. Buchanan says the large majority of Arconic employees will not see their coverage change.