So far at least 15 companies have disclosed about $2.8 billion in charges prompted by the health care overhaul. Verizon's charge is the second-largest after AT&T, which last week announced a $1 billion charge related to the tax bill.
Verizon and other companies currently receive a government subsidy to keep prescription drug benefits for retirees. They've been able to deduct all of their expenses, but that ends in 2013 under the recently passed legislation.
Companies are announcing the charges now because accounting rules say they have to book them during the period a new law is enacted.