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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hewitt Finally Gets the Boot

Aon Hewitt Finally Gets the Boot-Who is Empyrean?

After years of terrible service "handling" and mishandling the LLNL Retirees health benefits, maybe LLNS has gotten someone else.

I got a letter today dated Jan 29, 2015 on LLNL letterhead that starts:
"We have heard your feedback over the YEARS and as a result the Laboratory is making several
changes to the administration of retiree health and welfare plans effective April 1,2015. The
changes are being made in an effort to continue to offer quality service to LLNS retirees."

It goes on to say Aon Hewitt is out.
Initially, I was very pleased. Aon Hewitt/B of A HRA repeatedly caused months of anguish nearly EVERY year, since about 2007, missed payments, double billing, cancellations from Kaiser that had to be undone, almost nothing but grief!
At first I thought "Anyone could do better!"
Then I'm thinking: Who are we dealing with?
LLNS is the company that set up this convoluted system where LLNS paid Aon, who paid B of A who paid Kaiser, that never worked and LLNS never did anything, 'til now. Why?

So my Question is: Who is the new firm, Empyrean Benefit Solutions, and what is their track record?
Thanks!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I said, before Scooby deleted it, I dealt with Hewitt repeatedly while I was retiring and again when I went from retiree health insurance to Medicare. No problems at all - they were helpful and knowledgeable. I intend to give the new company the benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty is a long-cherished concept in our country. Let's not forget it.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of Art Wong and Lynn Soderstrom would be on the route to success, like firing Russo.

...and sending a Seal Team after Tyler Przbylek. (perhaps ServPro?)

Anonymous said...

I have had good luck with Hewitt in retirement. Contact is helpful and accurate. Competent People answer the phone. They complete follow-up actions.
The administrative details have been accurate and timely. And they haven't lost my PPI yet.

Competent. Kinda like lab employee relations under UC's care.

No wonder the LLC got rid of 'em. LLC employees don't know what competence looks like.

Anonymous said...

Met a cost-cutting objective. Put $1.2M is award fee into the LLC. Raised the senior management bonus pool.

And it only hurts you

Anonymous said...

If you retired fro m UC and transitioned to LANS,and then quit LLNL, then you are a UC retiree -- not a LANS retiree.

Anonymous said...

Oops 'transitioned to LLNS'

Anonymous said...

If you retired fro m UC and transitioned to LANS,and then quit LLNL, then you are a UC retiree -- not a LANS retiree.

February 8, 2015 at 10:53 AM

All UC retirees who retired from LANL or from LLNL, even long before the LLC transition, now get their retiree health insurance from LANS or LLNS, not from UC, at least until they qualify for Medicare, after which they still have the option of taking a retiree plan, secondary to Medicare, from the LLC. At least from LANS, those retiree plans are a lot cheaper than getting them privately.

Anonymous said...

The LLNL Retiree "Kaiser Senior Advantage" group Plan is NOT less costly than just a plain ordinary KSA plan anyone can get without the group. KSA is co-ordinated with and better than Medicare.
The Group plan costs more, but has a little better co-pays, coverage, etc.
Better, but not the best. Many co's have far better deals.(So this is NOT "Industry Standard", whatever that was.)
However you cannot use the HRA (which DoE reimburses to LLNS) UNLESS you use the Group plan thru LLNS.
I have 15 years, 11 months, and 3 weeks of service, which they round down to 15 years.If you have 20 years you get the "full" HRA (instead of the UC benefit or even "substantially equal". ) 15/20 is 3/4, so it ends up costing me more than if I just walked away, and bought KSA as an individual, but the coverage is a little better.
with the HRA.

Anonymous said...

AON's Dreaded Non response: "Research."
As in "We'll Research the problem, and get back to you."
That's AON_Speak for "Go away, kid, you bother me." Most of the time they never call you back.

Anonymous said...

Medicare Advantage plans have deceptively low premiums but large copays and deductibles. Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans have larger premiums, but for "F" plans there are no copays or deductibles. Medigap plans are quite expensive on the private market, but with the supplemental Medicare Part B credit from LANS, the Medigap group plan is essentially free: no copays, no deductibles, and the premium is covered by the Part B credit. So I pay $146 a month for my health insurance, no other charges at all. The only downside is that if I want coverage outside the country (except for emergencies which are covered by the Medigap plan), I need to buy short-term coverage for each trip.

Anonymous said...

That's AON_Speak for "Go away, kid, you bother me." Most of the time they never call you back.

February 8, 2015 at 12:24 PM

Not my experience at all. For me, they have always been knowledgeable and helpful. Once I stumped them with a question about retiree health insurance coverage, but they found the answer in pretty short order. Better the devil you know, in my view. Cheaper is unlikely to be better in any situation.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't have problems with Hewitt you were one of the lucky ones. I have heard nothing but complaints from people having to constantly call and correct mistakes, hoping and praying to get someone who actually cares enough to follow through submitting the correct data to all parties involved. I don't know if they will have better luck with this new company, but it can't be much worse.

Anonymous said...

Nothing but complaints is my experience, too.

Anonymous said...

The Kaiser plans have no donut hole in the medication, and a couple of other good features.
But Kaiser offers other better KSA plans that have much smaller or no deductibles for services, compared to the LLNS Group KSA.
Q. How does this compare to the UC deal?

Anonymous said...

Under LANS, the Medigap (Medicare Supplement Plan F) plan includes drug coverage with no gaps or "holes." All my research (for many months before turning 65) indicates Medicare Advantage plans are a rip-off, private or group. Plus, they depend on government subsidies to the insurance companies that Obama has proposed removing or severely reducing.

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