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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Health Care Dates Extended, but not for all?

Contributed anonymously:

Health Care Dates Extended, but not for all?
Meds to cost at least 3 times as much!

I'm hearing that the extension of the deadlines for health care is only for those who are Medicare qualified- which I think means 65 or older. Does anyone know if true?

Also what will the various plans cost us?

Looks like Kaiser has gone from a 90 day supply of meds to a 30 day supply, for the same price. Such a deal!
Not what the 11/20/08 article in the Independent says:
Period Extended for Lab Retirees to Sign Up for Health Care
By Independent News

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory retirees are concerned that they may not be able to sign up for health care benefits by the deadline. Because of that concern, the Lab is extending the open enrollment period.

Currently, the retirees are being asked to sign up for the benefits by Nov. 27. The problem is that many people cannot get through to Extend Health, the company hired to take on the task. Waits of up to two to three hours on the telephone have been reported, with no one ever answering.

Jeff Garberson, a member of the retirees organization, said people are upset and scared. "Someone has to step in."

Lynda Seaver, from the Lab's public affairs department, said, "There has been some difficulty in signing up. It is taking longer than originally anticipated. The problem is the massive number of retirees." She added that 30 percent have been enrolled, so the system is working.

Seaver added, "We know that people are concerned. We are trying to do what we can to improve the situation."

In order to make sure, all those who want to sign up are able to do so, Seaver said the open enrollment deadline is being extended to mid-December. People will still receive their health care I.D. cards in time with the later deadline. In addition, people can call in to set up exclusive personal appointments.

There is also concern that benefits are being changed.

Seaver said nothing is really changed. Rather than being a group insurance, as in the past, it is now individual insurance.

Under the new system, each person will have $2400 placed into a health care reimbursement account. The cost of care and premiums will be withdrawn each month. "There will be no change in the quality of care," said Seaver.

She also said that it is estimated there would be no out of pocket expenses that retirees would have to pay.

However, one retiree pointed out that the money is not sufficient to cover Medicare Part B. People could end up $200 in the hole at the end of the year.

Part B of Medicare is intended to fill some of the gaps in medical insurance coverage left under Part A. After the beneficiary meets the annual deductible, Part B will pay 80% of the "reasonable charge" for covered services, the reimbursement rate determined by Medicare; the beneficiary is responsible for the remaining 20% as "co-insurance."

Seaver said that under most scenarios involving Part B, retirees would have no out of pocket expenses. If the most expensive plan were selected, there would be a small amount. She said the $200 a year mentioned was in the ballpark.

Seaver explained that what retirees are not factoring in is that some of the services are now paid for that retirees had to pay under UC. She added the cost of health care is going up everywhere. "We are providing the same dollars for health care. There is just a different way of delivering it."


Anonymous said...

Why is this laboratory now so incompetent?

Even ordinary things like adequate planning or being prepared are now impossible.

LLNS has adapted the worst, most ineffective commercial practices to replace a relatively cost-effective and functioning University system.

How dumb and incompetent can they be?

George, LLNS is a failure.

Anonymous said...

Linda Seaver is a liar. She should be scorned and undermined in the workplace.

Anonymous said...

Tell me, Linda, how I'm not taking all factors into consideration.

As a non-Medicare, UC-RETIREE, I am now paying 50% more in health care premiums than I was last year (and obtaining worse coverage, with higher co-pays for EVERYTHING), and I'm paying TWICE as much as UC-retirees from any other campus for the VERY SAME coverage. Kind of makes me feel like a second-class citizen.

Don't want to hear about skyrocketing health care prices (they are going up for everyone, not just UC-retirees being covered now by LLNS at the direction of the idiots in DOE/NNSA), don't want to hear about smaller bargaining units (how UC is so much bigger than LLNS and can get a better deal....not my choice, but it turns out to be my problem even though I retired from UC, was promised UC retirement benefits and now I am getting substandard benefits from LLNS and their Bechtel henchmen at the direction of the evil NNSA.)

Don't want to hear about pension systems and the economy (the UC pension system remains well-funded, it it wasn't, employee contributions would already be happening.) Don't want to hear about this is all DOE's fault (it's too easy to point that finger, LLNS is making large sums of money being the hatchet guys for DOE), that UC "didn't want us" (DOE could have forced them to accept their obligations), that LLNS was "only following orders" (you know, like the Nazis explained at Nuremburg). That's all BS, rationalization, and spin. Bottom line: LLNS saw an opportunity to screw us over for their own benefit and they took it. DOE fiddled while the Labs burned...both LANL and LLNL are a joke now, mere shadows of their former selves. Who in the world would ever go to work there?

All I know is the Bechtelites are laughing all the way to the bank and UC-retirees, who worked their whole careers as UC EMPLOYEES at LLNL, supporting the Lab, its mission, and the country, are getting the short end of the stick. If this was happening to Armed Forces veterans, there would be public outrage, Congressional hearings, investigative journalism, and I'm betting things would change. But nobody will stand up for us. I'm sorry I ever even heard about the place.....after more than 30 years of commitment.

I'd like to see the likes of Linda Seaver and George Miller in front of a Congressional committee explaining and defending their treatment of UC-retirees. Or better yet, on trial for fraud and misrepresentation.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry. The Obamanator will tax the working class to pay for that socialize medicine you all want so bad. The problem here is YOU at LLNL are the ones who are going to be paying for the cost of that mediacl care for yourself and all of those that do not work and never had any intention of ever working. Welcome to the new world order, global economy and the demo senate, congress and whitehouse.

Anonymous said...

November 30, 2008 12:20 PM

Your right. I want Bush and the Republicans congress back. They can finish destroying the economy and demoralizing the population so the metamorphosis of the United States into a second rate, has been superpower will be complete.

By the way. when the poor slob shows up at the clinic to get health care he can't afford, who do you think pays for it? You do! So quit whining about socialized medicine. We already have it. Get back to work.

Anonymous said...

US medicine can already be considered socialized in multiple ways. We already pay taxes to cover uninsured people going to emergency rooms even though that is a very inefficient way to deliver care for simple illness. The powers that be have chosen to not permit Medicaid to negotiate with drug manufacturers, although every other insurer does exactly that. We don't pay income tax on the insurance benefit we receive from the Lab. So the costs are already socialized in major ways, just the payment paths are perhaps more convoluted. The tipping point will come when enough businesses decide they are at less of a competitive disadvantage to pay into a different system than what we have now.

Anonymous said...

What a complete joke and embarrassment LLNS has made of our prestigious Lab.

Anonymous said...

"our prestigious Lab..."

LLNL is dead. I now refer to it as the CSFRCF.

Cash-starved, fourth-rate commercial failure

On the good side, weapons proliferation will soon be reduced by one large nuclear power.


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