While Sears canceled the benefit on March 15, some retirees were not notified until after that date, says Ron Olbrysh, chairman of the National Association of Retired Sears Employees.
Sears paid $16.6 million in premiums for its eligible retirees in 2017. It is not clear how many retirees will end up losing their coverage. A Sears spokesman declined to comment.
While the struggling retailer had been cutting out other employee benefits over time, including big cuts to life insurance coverage in 1997, it still paid for polices worth at least $5,000. Sears sought protection from bankruptcy October last year.