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Manufacturers Support Health Insurance for Older Workers

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As the manufacturing industry continues to grow, manufacturers across the country are ensuring that older workers and company retirees have the support they need—including through health care options like Medicare Advantage.

What it is: Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. They provide the same hospital and medical insurance as original Medicare, but with additional benefits—often including Part D prescription drug coverage, as well as vision, dental and hearing services. Medicare Advantage Plans also include a maximum out-of-pocket spending limit to offer additional protection.

  • Medicare Advantage beneficiaries spend 40% less annually than those enrolled in Medicare Fee-for-Service, while also experiencing a 43% lower rate of avoidable hospitalizations for preventable complications, according to UnitedHealth Group.
  • Employers have been able to take advantage of this health care model for retirees by offering what is known as Employer Group Waiver Plans.

Why it matters: Attracting and retaining a quality workforce is one of the most important challenges facing the manufacturing industry, especially as the industry confronts a labor shortage. Affordable and competitive health care benefits are one of many retention tools utilized by manufacturers.

  • In 2021, 25.6% of the manufacturing industry’s workforce were 55 or older, while 5.3% were over 65, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • According to the NAM’s latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 80.7% of manufacturers cited the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce as a primary business challenge.
  • The high-quality options provided by Medicare Advantage allow manufacturers to retain their older workers and keep them happy and healthy in their jobs.

What we’re saying: “Ninety-five percent of manufacturing employees were eligible for health insurance benefits in 2020, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, while 99% of NAM members offer health benefits. Manufacturers are supportive of flexibility, expanding coverage options and enabling innovative models of care to maintain a healthy workforce and provide competitive benefits,” said NAM Director of Human Resources and Innovation Policy Julia Bogue.

For details on other ways manufacturers can retain older employees check out insights from the Manufacturing Institute and AARP here.

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