Kodak announced earlier in the month that it is cutting coverage for retirees because it can no longer afford to pay for them. Kodak spends more than $200 million each year on benefits. The cuts affect 40,000 retirees. Excellus is holding informational sessions about their health insurance options.
Kodak retirees say health insurance is critical.
"It's somewhat of a risk. Especially if I need hospital care. Hospital care for a lot of us people, as we get older, is a real concern," said Raymond Quinn.
"It makes the difference between life and death in some cases. It's very, very important and of course what also is important is what is it going to cost and what are the coverages," said George D'Ambrosia.
George D'Ambrosia is just one of the many who attended Wednesday's Excellus BlueCross BlueShield seminar.
After working at Kodak for 30 years, he decided it was time to retire in 2002.
Ten years later, he may need to find healthcare on his own.
"See we have to make a comparison and choose now because Kodak is dropping our health insurance and because of that, we normally went with MVP for a long time, but I think what most Kodak retirees want to do is make a comparison now that they have to make a choice," said D'Ambrosia.
It's a choice that many Kodak retirees expected before even announced.
"I saw it coming quite a while. For quite a while, a long time. I saw it coming when it happened. It was something I expected," said D'Ambrosia.
That's why companies, like Excellus, are offering services.
"We are a local company. We want to be here for the Rochester community. We thought it was very important that we make sure we were here to give as much information, to be of assistance and help in anyway that we can because it is a lot of information to take in," said Heather Smith, Director of Medicare Sales.
The other sessions are as follows:
Tuesday, Oct. 30
10 a.m. at the American Legion
454 North Main Street, Canandaigua
Friday, Nov. 2
10 a.m. and noon at the Burgandy Basin Inn
1361 Marsh Road, Pittsford
Tuesday, Nov. 6
2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at The Strong National Museum of Play
One Manhattan Square Drive, Rochester
To register for a Medicare seminar, visit Excellus online or call toll-free (888) 834-1408 (TTY/TDD users call (800) 421-1220) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.