The McClatchy Co., owner of The Bee, said Tuesday it will end subsidized health care for retirees at the end of 2014.
Sacramento-based McClatchy said the decision will affect a total of 51 employees. Almost all of those retirees worked for the former Knight Ridder Inc. newspapers and had subsidized coverage “grandfathered” in after McClatchy acquired Knight Ridder in 2006, said McClatchy spokesman Peter Tira.
The vast majority of McClatchy’s retirees don’t get subsidized health care, the company said.
McClatchy is one of several big corporations ending their retiree health care plans and steering those former employees to health-care exchanges being set up as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. The publicly run exchanges, which include subsidized rates, are set to open for business Oct. 1.
“We think the health care exchange is really a better program,” said Nancy Williams, McClatchy’s employee benefits director. “You’re probably going to get better coverage and a better rate.”
Other companies that have announced recently they are ending retiree health plans and steering employees to the exchanges are Time Warner Inc. and General Electric Co.
Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler