September 9, 2015 – Kraft Heinz Co., which counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. as its largest shareholder, is pushing some of its retirees to health exchanges as the company cuts expenses.
The foodmaker is eliminating some benefits as it seeks to provide care in “the most cost-effective manner,” according to a letter to retirees and their spouses dated Sept. 1, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg.
3G Capital, which combined H.J. Heinz and Kraft Foods Group Inc. with Buffett’s backing, has been cutting jobs and office expenses to boost profits. As of Jan. 1, Kraft Heinz will offer medical and prescription coverage through the individual marketplace for retirees age 65 and older. Coverage options including dental and vision plans will be available through the private Towers Watson OneExchange.
“As a result, the existing company retiree medical and prescription drug coverage designs will not be offered after December 31,” according to the letter.
Michael Mullen, a spokesman for Kraft Heinz, said that the change applies to 15,000 Medicare-eligible retirees.
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