Wednesday, January 14, 2009

LLNL/UC Retiree Non-Medicare Medical Insurance Debacle

Anonymously contributed:

Just got home from the drugstore. Coverage for my medications under the new Anthem-Blue Cross EPO plan that I was basically FORCED into by LLNS when they canceled Health Net is way, way down. I have to pay $35 for each medication, when under Health Net, I had to pay $10 or at the most $20. (Plus, they wouldn't even cover two of my medications without special justification from my doctor.....they wanted me to pay $389 for one of them and $125 for the other.)

This is despite the fact that my own contribution to the Anthem-Blue Cross EPO Health Plan (given my years of service to UC) WENT UP FROM $240/month for better coverage under Health Net TO MORE THAN $380/month (almost a 60% increase). And office co-pays went from $15 to $20. Less and less coverage for more and more money. Thanks DOE. Thanks UC. Thanks LLNS. Thanks George Miller.

Don't want to hear how LLNS is doing us such a great favor because "medical benefits are not guaranteed." The FACT is that UC retirees from non-LLNL/non-LANL campuses (including LBNL, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, UCLA, Davis, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Irvine, and probably UC Merced, if there are any) still have more choices in plans (like our old Health Net), pay lower premiums, and have better benefits. I feel like a second-class UC citizen. Why are we being treated so differently than UC retirees from the other campuses?

I was SOLD on the idea when I came to work at LLNL and throughout my career, on a UC RETIREMENT (and all benefits thereby included, those guaranteed or not). NOT a DOE RETIREMENT. NOT a LLNS RETIREMENT. I understood that health benefits for retirees were not guaranteed. BUT, nobody even said that UC/LLNL retirement benefits would be anything less or even different from OTHER UC campuses.

It doesn't seem right or fair. Maybe it's legal, but it ought to be investigated. Seems like the stuff class-action lawsuits are made of.

Any opinions out there?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm completely supportive of your point of view. Having UC in effect dump the LLNL employees was the ultimate betrayal. In my opinion it was part of a childish tantrum to lash out at DOE for having the contract taken away. Never mind UC is still a partner of sorts.

So why don't we get coverage under Betchel's umbrella - hmm? Certainly they are a large enough company to garner a decent rate for insurance on the market.

Anonymous said...

January 14, 2009 10:53 AM

It's all about cost saving and LLNS / ULM is going to get big bonus checks for screwing you again. I went to the Anthem Blue Cross site to see what coverage was going to cost me and the spouse per month for medicare and its up to $309 and that doesn't cover 100% of your medical expenses and prescriptions. I have written them to see what I have to get to be covered 100% of my expenses since I know as I get older I will need more care. My next questions will be, is this coverage good outside the Californication. Just one more carrot thay can not dangle in the noses of anyone they hope to hire.

Anonymous said...

Nothing else matters to LLNS other than keeping costs to LLNS/DOE down. That's what the management is paid to do. That's how come they get such high salaries and big bonuses. It doesn't matter if the employees and retirees get screwed in the process.

By the way, did insurance premiums go up for current employees as well as for retirees? It wouldn't matter to the like of George Miller.....he could easily handle the increases, what with his big salary and (private, non-disclosed) bonuses.

Anonymous said...

If you froze your UC retirement you can return to full UC retiree benefit status. First save money to live on for a year ( unpaid vacation helps with this) , easier to do if your house is paid off. Find a UC campus or system position for a year, academic or not. Even consider custodian, cook, admin., lab tech, coop. extension, 4H coordinator, ...ANYTHING. Then push a broom for the minimum time to retire from that position. Probably 6 months or a yr. You add to your now unfrozen UC service credit and your HAPC highest 36 month is from your previous LLNL position. Then retire as a whole UC retiree cleansed from all future LLNS connections taking your small 401K from LLNS/LANS. Of course this would apply to LANL UC frozen LANS employees also. Think of it as a retreat, vacation, life experience or an unpleasant ordeal to get rid of the LLNS, LANS contamination. Calculate the added value of the extra UC service credit to help he idea of working for a low wage. Im not sure of the HR policies for these types of positions (some unionized). It really is about the minimum time to get back to being UC retirement eligible. Id appreciate comments about such a plan.

Anonymous said...

NNSA labs will continue to shrink in both employees and national importance. On the day that NNSA finally tells the LLCs to cut all retiree benefits, no one outside of the few LLC retirees left will care.

You can bet that NNSA is eagerly waiting for the day when they can finally stab their loyal and long term contract retirees in the back and kick them into the gutter.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you have noticed but UC is cutting its costs and laying employees off as well. With my luck I'd spend a year pushing a broom for UC only to have them decrease their medical coverage. No guarantees there either.

Anonymous said...

It's only going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

This post should be moved to the top and stay there until there's a class action suite or positive change. I think it get worse than this. Now when you turn 65 of which most of you will have to work to due to the loss of your UCRP and the worthless 401k you will not get the group rate. You are on your own. UC dumped your butts and so did LLNS. You're screwed big time. What you were promised under UC and LLNS exist no more. Medicare and a supplement is all you have. period. Please move this post to the top and keep it there for the world to read.

Anonymous said...

January 20, 2009 6:15 PM

Don't worry son, the Obamanator going to fix it so you all have equal medical care paid for by the tax payers. hell he just put in his first EO today with two more to come. One releases the enemy in PR and the other one releases them here in America. Good start Big-O. You're making all type of point with the parents of the men and women who died so you could be king and with the military in general. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obama_guantanamo Opps I forgot, we'll have to see they get free medical first and while we're at it give then social security and restitution for being soooo mistreated while housed in a prison as they should be.

Anonymous said...

Bring on a class action suit! Just picked up some medicine and guess what? Yep! Standard co-pay does not exist until you meet a deductible and/or as of Jan. 1, MOST medicines are now NOT covered. Another lie during open enrollment and I hear the retirees were "dumped" big time and never worked for LLNS????????? UC is to blame for this along with the rest. I hope they sleep at night.

Anonymous said...

I was laid off in Sept, 2008 after nearly 25 years of service as a PhD-level researcher. Luckily, I was old enough and had enough years to take Option 2 with UC retirement. I enrolled for the Kaiser medical plan for 2009 to keep my monthly contributions low. Now, prescription co-payments are $20 each, not the $10 each I paid earlier under HealthNet.

I think they are going to pull the rug out from under our Health Insurance Benefits.

I came to work for UC, not DOE or LLNS. I would support a class action suit with monthly contributions to recover our UC medical coverage.

SPSE, which I supported for great many years, should take the lead to file this suit. At the very least, it should put up a webpage for people to signup for the class action suit.

BTW, I am ecstatic about not working for the lab anymore. The last two years were pretty awful.

My two cents worth.

Anonymous said...

I was laid off in Sept, 2008 after nearly 25 years of service as a PhD-level researcher. Luckily, I was old enough and had enough years to take Option 2 with UC retirement. I enrolled for the Kaiser medical plan for 2009 to keep my monthly contributions low. Now, prescription co-payments are $20 each, not the $10 each I paid earlier under HealthNet.

I think they are going to pull the rug out from under our Health Insurance Benefits.

I came to work for UC, not DOE or LLNS. I would support a class action suit with monthly contributions to recover our UC medical coverage.

SPSE, which I supported for great many years, should take the lead to file this suit. At the very least, it should put up a webpage for people to signup for the class action suit.

Anonymous said...

Have you people priced medicare. It's $96.40 for each person in your household. Your premiums are based on the pay you got before you retire. They only cover 80% medical and no prescription. Your medical supplement is ~$121.00 per person a month and you prescription issuance I am sure will match that. I'll know more monday. So far it looks like ~$500 a month after age 65 and the premiums go up as you get old until age 90. yes , LLNS and UC has cost you a fortune by dumping your butts at age 65 and people like GM and FR get big bonus check for screwing you. Isn't it great to be an ass at the top. FJAP's

Anonymous said...

"Have you people priced medicare. It's $96.40 for each person in your household. Your premiums are based on the pay you got before you retire."

The SSA uses the most recent IRS information in determining Part B premiums to see if you pay more than the normal rate, so it's behind two tax years. This isn't an issue if you retire a couple of years before you turn 65. The following article explains how you can request the SSA to review your new, lower retirement income.

http://content.kiplinger.com/columns/ask/
archive/2006/q1109.htm

Anonymous said...

. . . after 35 years of service to my country and the Laboratory, I am shocked at what LLNS-LLC and the UC System as a "hole" are doing to me and my family and the sad part is . . . this is just the beginning!

I just heard on the radio . . . Anthem Blue Cross wants to increase their health insurance rates 39% because they say, " they are loosing money because there are too many 'baby boomers' out there. I say, BOO HOO to this. They have to go before the "crooks" in congress to get this approved. The lobbyists will easily get that one approved.

My next vote for President will guarantee - The Big-O becomes a "one term president" and ends up selling tires, you know where!

Don't worry about the Big-O breaking this great country of ours. He can't break it any more than you can break 1st base and prevent baseball from ever being played again in the USA. The silent minority will never let that happen.
Strike 3, Mr. Obama, your outta' here!

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