Bankrupt Nortel wants to stop insurance for retirees

June 23, 2010 

As it winds down bankruptcy proceedings, Nortel Networks has asked a federal court to terminate insurance coverage for more than 4,000 retirees and their dependents, many of whom live in the Triangle.

Nortel told the federal judge in Delaware who is overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings that the retiree benefits are costing the company $2 million a month. As of Sept. 1, Nortel wants to cut off retirees' medical coverage, prescription drug coverage, long-term disability and life insurance.

The move will almost certainly increase medical costs for the retirees and their families, who had been promised Nortel-subsidized health care coverage for life. In some cases Nortel was subsidizing nearly half the cost of medical coverage for its former employees.

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