Duke Energy Stops Insuring Retirees, Joining Trend

RALEIGH (AP) - Duke Energy Corp. is joining a growing list of corporations scrapping long-held practices of providing retirees with health insurance and giving former workers a fixed amount to buy their own supplement to Medicare coverage.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the country's largest electric company last week began notifying about 14,500 retirees of Duke Energy and predecessors or subsidiaries in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

The retirees previously worked for Duke Energy, Progress Energy, Carolina Power & Light, Cinergy, Florida Progress and others. The changes apply to all Duke retirees except union members in Florida.

Duke Energy plans to release details later, but retirees won't get the company's stipend unless they buy coverage from UnitedHealthcare for policies that take effect in January.

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