The Association of U S West Retirees



Ford to charge extra fee to insure workers' mates
Associated Press
The Arizona Republic
Thursday, March 16, 2006

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. plans to charge an additional fee for salaried employees who want to have their spouses included on the company's health care plan.  The fee would apply only to spouses who can get health benefits elsewhere.

Such employees will pay $110 a month for medical coverage and $11 a month for dental care, Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said Wednesday.

Evans said Ford "has to balance the cost of health care that it faces, the increase of costs that it faces every year."

Ford spent $3.5 billion on health care expenses in 2005, compared with $3.1 billion in costs the previous year.

The automaker has not projected how much it expects to spend this year.

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group said Wednesday that it will change its health care plan for active and retired salaried employees to require those who earn more to pay more in premiums.

Chrysler said that beginning in 2007, the increase in every active salaried employees' health care pretax premium would be based on their rank and base salary level.  Top executives would be responsible for up to 100 percent of their premiums.

"We all have to do our part going forward.  And we have to do it in a way that is innovative, competitive, equitable and provides a long-term solution," Chrysler President and Chief Executive Tom LaSorda said in a letter to employees.

The changes will affect about 17,600 retirees and 14,900 active workers.