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EEOC Informal Discussion Letter

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC Office of Legal Counsel staff members wrote the following informal discussion letter in response to an inquiry from a member of the public. This letter is intended to provide an informal discussion of the noted issue and does not constitute an official opinion of the Commission.

ADEA Retiree Health

June 3, 2003


This is in reply to your letter of March 6, 2003, to the Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You indicate that the insurer charges retirees over the age of 65 significantly greater premiums than retirees under age 65 for prescription drug coverage. As I understand it, the prescription drug premiums are separate from the basic insurance premium.

Note, however, that I could not read the column headings on the attachment you sent regarding premium rates. Therefore, I am unclear about some of the terms of the plan. I cannot tell, for example, whether the amount listed under "base monthly premium" is the amount paid by National Grid or the premium paid by the retiree. If you wish, you may contact me at (202) 663-4638 to clarify that information.

Without a full investigation, however, we will be unable to determine whether or not the charges for benefits are proper under the ADEA. We do not provide formal opinion letters in these situations. If you wish to challenge the employer's practices, you need to file a charge of age discrimination with EEO's New York District Office, 201 Varick Street, New York, New York 10014, 212-741-8815. Charges of age discrimination must be filed within the earlier of 300 days after the discriminatory act or 30 days after the dismissal of any claim of discrimination filed with a state agency. The New York District Office can discuss with you the specifics of your claim and the procedures that must be followed.

Please note that this letter does not constitute an official opinion of the EEOC.

We hope this information has been helpful.


Dianna B. Johnston
Assistant Legal Counsel

This page was last modified on April 27, 2007.