Former Westinghouse employees deprived of choice of health care plan

Westinghouse retirees are planning a class action lawsuit against Curtiss-Wright Electro-Mechanical Corp., who has now acquired a former Westinghouse plant in Harmar, over health-care benefits. Westinghouse retirees from the Harmar plant are allegedly being forced to choose between two existing prescription drug plans, after their union had bargained for both plans to run concurrently.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers helped negotiate for the prescription plan which helps pay for medications when retirees reach the $4,500 limit that Medicare Part D allows. One retiree stated that when he called HealthAmerica, his health insurance company, they told him if he chooses to drop Medicare Part D, he would lose his medical coverage for him and his wife. While nothing has been filed with the courts yet, legal counsel for the retirees indicates they have posted a classified ad providing notice that a class action is being filed, which is a requirement prior to actually filing the complaint with the courts. He also said he hopes to contact more than 200 possible class members.

Westinghouse former retirees health care benefits in the News

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Reader Comments

Posted by

My father, William M. Fennell Sr of Hampton, SC, was involved in a class action lawsuit against Westinghouse Micarta facilities in Hampton, SC. I'm writing for an update on the settlement. My Father is now deceased.

Posted by

My Father Thomas J. Dolphin worked for the Westinghouse RIDC park in Harmer, PA. He was in upper management. I am his son James Dolphin. In 1983 I was paralyzed in an auto accident. His retiree benefit program stated I would receive full health benefits until the age of 65 when I would be eligible for Medicare. From 1983 until 2000-2001, my Fathers policy paid out 90/60 for my medical supplies, durable medical equipment, and my prescriptions.

When CBS took over they changed my benefits to 70/60 and started charging me a premium for the insurance as well as lowering the percentage my health benefits paid out. From 2000 through 2009, I kept asking them what happened to my health benefits. Never got a straight answer. In 2008 I requested my explanation of benefits from the new CBS Health plan. It says the 90/60 plan coverage is no longer an option.

Are they allowed to do that. I thought my healthcare benefits were grand fathered in and I would receive 90/60 coverage until age 65. Back in 1983 I refused Medicare because I believed I would be fully covered until age 65. If I try to go on Medicare now there is a huge penalty. I am on disability and I can't afford that. In fact my health is being directly affected because I cannot pay for certain supplies and Rxs. I know it has been 16 years, but they never told me my benefits changed. I tried to explain what happened, but they say I am receiving the benefits I was promised.

Is there any advice you could give me or anyway you can help me get my benefits back. I'm getting desperate...

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