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Older workers driving up insurance costs? That’s no reason to terminate them

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

It’s no secret that having an older, sicker group of employees may mean higher costs for employer-provided health insurance benefits. That’s true even with the recent changes in the health insurance ­market thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Because it costs more to provide health insurance for older workers, some employers may be tempted to trim their workforce of older workers during reductions in force. Or they may think twice before considering hiring an older applicant.

Such actions carry considerable risk that the employee or applicant will sue for age discrimination. It is especially problematic to discuss the impact older workers have on premiums in email or other documents, as this recent case shows.

Recent case: Marjorie, who was over age 65 and thus eligible for Medicare, worked for Associated Underwriters.

When the economy slowed and the company had trouble making a profit, it considered cutting out health insura...(register to read more)

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