Eastman Kodak Retiree Health Care Bill Passes Senate, Assembly

June 14, 2012

Legislation designed to provide Eastman Kodak retirees with affordable and accessible health care has been approved by the state Assembly and Senate, sponsors Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle, D-Irondequoit, and Senator Joseph E. Robach, R-Greece, announced today. (S. 6740-B; A. 9675-B.)

Under the new insurance model created through this legislation, insurers will competitively bid for the chance to provide coverage to retirees not yet eligible for Medicare and whose health benefits may be terminated as a result of Kodak’s bankruptcy. As members of a large pool, retirees will pay lower premiums than if they purchased individual health plans.

The newly-created Kodak pool will be insured according to the same rules that apply to all insurance products in New York State.

“This year’s changes at Kodak have created uncertainty for thousands of former employees,” said Assemblyman Morelle, chair of the Assembly’s insurance committee. “We still don’t know what the impact of bankruptcy will be in terms of health care benefits, and that’s why we’re creating a safety net to protect these hard-working people and give them the security and peace of mind they have earned.

“I want to thank my colleagues in both houses for their support, and especially Senator Robach for his partnership in making this a reality.”

“From the beginning, our goal was to try to comprehensively protect people at Kodak who could lose their health insurance before being eligible for Medicare,” said Senator Robach. “This legislation, which was crafted based on Kodak retirees input, will give them this protection by providing an opportunity to get coverage at a good rate from competing insurers.

“I’m grateful to my fellow Senators and to the Assembly, and to Joe Morelle for sharing my commitment to resolving an issue that impacts so many lives.”

Morelle and Robach said they are hopeful Governor Cuomo will shortly sign the Kodak health care legislation.