Westar Energy is notifying its retired employees that they will have to find their own Medicare supplemental plans beginning Jan. 1.
Previously, the employees had received group coverage through the company.
Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig says the change will affect about 1,700 retirees who are older than 65 and qualify for Medicare. She says the employees will be paid a stipend to buy individual Medicare supplemental plans, known as Part B.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Penzig says the company believes at least 96 percent of the employees will end up with better plans than they had under the current Westar benefits. Westar says it currently spends about $3.5 million a year for retiree health benefits.
(Information from: Lawrence Journal-World)