Time Warner to move retirees to health care exchanges

Time Warner Inc.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Time Warner Inc is planning to transfer its U.S. retirees from company-sponsored health plans and move them to private insurance exchanges.

According to an August memo obtained by Reuters, the media company will make allocations to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement account for retirees to use towards the purchase of coverage on an exchange. Previously, Time Warner provided an indirect subsidy through a supplementary Medicare program.

The shift "will ultimately be beneficial for all retirees by providing more choice of coverage ... for, in many cases, a lower cost," read the memo, which was written by James Cummings, the company's senior vice president of global compensation and benefits.

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The change in coverage will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

Time Warner is not the only company to take such steps as a result of the government's healthcare reform laws. International Business Machines Corp on Friday announced a similar plan, which it said was a way to lower costs for retirees.