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Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 08:52 AM   #1
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Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

Hello, I am interested on your opinion as to when the major companies are going to stop providing heath care to retirees. I know that Stryker in Kalamazoo doesn't offer anything toward your insurance once you retire. *I would like to get some facts or just guesses as when Pfizer, Merck, Gm, Ford and all the other major companies will follow suit. *Runnerr[color=Yellow][/color
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

Thats going to require forecasting of health care costs, because I think a lot of businesses will stop offering retiree health care the moment it becomes too expensive.

Its probably irrelevant long term because if the costs keep going up (and theres nothing to stop them), nationalization of the health care system is virtually inevitable. Or everyone will be funnelled into a super-high deductible plan and do a lot of out-of-pocket spending.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 10:00 AM   #3
 
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerr
Hello, I am interested on your opinion as to when the major companies are going to stop providing heath care to retirees.
Lucent Technologies (formerly part of AT&T) elminated retiree family and dependent benefits for a large number management retirees last year. This affects people who had already been retired for years.

Lucent warned they will eliminate health care benefits for the retirees themselves in a year or two. Meanwhile, they have jacked up the retiree contributions (e.g., 600% in the last 4 years for me).

I see healthcare costs as the biggest obstacle to retirement planning.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

Paid retiree health insurance is going the way of the dodo bird.

JG
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 03:12 PM   #5
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

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...nationalization of the health care system is virtually inevitable. Or everyone will be funnelled into a super-high deductible plan and do a lot of out-of-pocket spending.
I don't see nationalization under the Republicans. The high deductible route is the way they are trending. Neither party seems willing to trim costs for individuals by eliminating the expensive monopolies. Their only interest seems to be in reducing costs to government and corporations by putting more burden on the middle class patients.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 03:42 PM   #6
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

We may have some form of 'stealth nationalization' already - I thought I read on another forum some ??study/estimate?? that over 40% of all medical bills are paid by the government now.

The other problem I see is the bogus billing/cost shifting thing - the big dogs(govt., HMO's. etc) cause cost shifting to those without negotiating muscle to back them up.

Trying to find accurate data as to who is really paying what and what actual costs are ?? Lot's of luck.

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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 03:50 PM   #7
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerr
Hello, I am interested on your opinion as to when the major companies are going to stop providing heath care to retirees. I know that Stryker in Kalamazoo doesn't offer anything toward your insurance once you retire. *I would like to get some facts or just guesses as when Pfizer, Merck, Gm, Ford and all the other major companies will follow suit. *Runnerr[color=Yellow][/color
It seems simple enough for a company to offer health insurance to retirees at any age at the cost of COBRA. It would not cost the firm anything but I dont think any companies do it for longer than 18 months which is the periord required by Federal law.

I guess they figure why should they.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 04:07 PM   #8
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

I work in tech and all the big companies seem to be moving away from retiree health insurance. Most companies have also eliminated pension plans. 401K match is the only thing left that will remain yours once you are out.

I have excellent health coverage with my current employer. Of course I would not mind keeping it when I am not there no more, but that is obviously not going to happen. I would be very comfortable with a high deductible plan that does not cover all sorts of nice extras that I don't think I will be needing anyway (e.g. mental stuff or maternity - emergency/catastrophic is good enough).

I don't see a national health plan under the republicans either, even democrats would have a tough time with it. Since very many people in this country do not take responsibility for their own health, I don't see why the general public should either. The obesity epidemic is a prime example.

I think at some time, those who are fairly healthy and are financially ok, will take a high deductible plan. Those who are not, will end up in a state sponsored high risk pool with high premiums or nothing at all.

Vicky
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 04:09 PM   #9
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

The problem that I have with Healthcare is that the costs are uncontrolled without insurance. I recently had a procedure and was billed $3000 but the insurance company rate was $1500. My recent physical was also half the cost of the billing rate. *If you do not have insurance you are exposed to the retail cost or more *of healthcare which few pay. Many individuals without insurance do not pay and are written off by the provider so the amount billed does not matter. It only matters to people with assets. Does this make any sense?
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 04:43 PM   #10
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

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We may have some form of 'stealth nationalization' already...
We have such a plan, but only for certain groups, such as the elderly (Medicare) and poor (Medicaid). The middle class is on their own, seen as the cash cow for special interest groups.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 04:48 PM   #11
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

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It only matters to people with assets. Does this make any sense?
This is the group that the special interest groups are motivated to pay the policians to allow them to fleece. Why bother trying to fleece someone who doesn't have anything worthwhile to take?
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 04:56 PM   #12
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

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I would be very comfortable with a high deductible plan that does not cover all sorts of nice extras that I don't think I will be needing anyway...
Unfortunately, the law in many places requires policies to carry a lot of expensive coverages useless to the healthy, such as drug detoxification.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 05:08 PM   #13
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael
We have such a plan, but only for certain groups, such as the elderly (Medicare) and poor (Medicaid). The middle class is on their own, seen as the cash cow for special interest groups.
Currently, part of Middle Class. However, Elderly is on the horizon.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 05:19 PM   #14
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

Why can't the individual who is able to pay get similar costs to the insurance companies able to get comparable costs. That is why our system is destined to fail because none of us can afford twice the cost even if the catastrophic event is not considered.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 05:41 PM   #15
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

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Originally Posted by Michael
Unfortunately, the law in many places requires policies to carry a lot of expensive coverages useless to the* healthy, such as drug detoxification.
I don't agree with this. Drug detox is only
"useless" until you need it.

JG
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 06:04 PM   #16
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

I am not concerned about Drug detox just the major other costs which if you do not have insurance seem to be about double the cost with insurance.
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 07:27 PM   #17
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

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However, Elderly is on the horizon.
I know the feeling. How did that happen?
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 07:30 PM   #18
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

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I don't agree with this. Drug detox is only
"useless" until you need it.
To me, it seems like something entirely under my control. I don't smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs. What are the odds?
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 07:34 PM   #19
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

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Originally Posted by Michael
To me, it seems like something entirely under my control.* I don't smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs.* What are the odds?
Okay, you are pure and thus are unlikely to avail yourself.
I can buy that. But, not all so afflicted are junkie scum,
ripping off little old ladies for their next fix.

JG
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated
Old 05-08-2005, 07:38 PM   #20
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Re: Health Care for Retirees Eliminated

I never suggested that they were John. Just that detox insurance is not something that I would willingly buy if I had a choice. It seems like an unnecessary expense to me.
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