Ford Motor Company announced that it will offer short term medical insurance as part of a buyout retirement offer for almost all of its 41,000 hourly workers. The offer is intended to reduce the firm's factory work force. The New York Times reports that in the past Ford kept laid-off workers in a job bank rather than remove them from the payroll. This year, however, Ford is actively reducing its work force in anticipation of lower demand for cars in the future.
The short term medical insurance plan is a six month basic health insurance policy but the details of the coverage are not provided. Ford has not announced how many workers are expected to elect the buyout offer.
Considering the larger regional trend of employers hiring temporary workers and the shift toward individual health insurance (as opposed to employer-sponsored group insurance), some of these workers in the Detroit area are likely to consider alternate affordable health insurance options for the long term before deciding whether to accept the buyout package. Those who do not qualify for lower cost options could face higher health insurance costs through their state's high risk Blue Cross insurance pool.