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GM Retiree health benefits take a hit
Old 07-16-2008, 01:44 PM   #1
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GM Retiree health benefits take a hit

Folks- this is the face of things to come.....

If high gas prices, reduced purchasing of product were not the only problems, the even-increasing cost of healthcare borne by employers is sure to fuel severe cutbacks:

I would not be surprised to find other at-risk employers following suit- airlines anyone?

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Not as bad as it sounds...
Old 07-16-2008, 03:00 PM   #2
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Not as bad as it sounds...

First of all, the article is talking about 65+ folks, the ones who are already on Medicare (FYI, Medicare part "A" is free, part "B" comes directly out of your SS check, so the folks are already paying for it on their own).

What we're talking about is the "medigap" (supplemental coverage) that is on top of the part A/B. My son (who is under 65, but is on Medicare due to his full disability) has supplemental coverage through Blue Shield, and pays $99/month. There was no "pre-existing certification" that needed to be considered to get the coverage.

This is not to say that this will lead down another "path" (don't know their pre-Medicare/65 cost and who pays for it), but that could get expensive. In reality, most companies don't cover any medical insurance (pre/post 65). I've been lucky. Being retired and having a good many years of service with the company I retired from, I pay the "company rate" on health insurance (group cost, which is slightly less), but again, that's probably the exception.

The article does not say that they are going to eliminate insurance completely. In fact, they are raising the pension (remember those?) by $300/mo to help pay for the medigap coverage. Also, this is for salried (non-union) folks, which is the smaller group of retirees (the retired union folks still are covered by the current contract, but that's always up for negoation next time around). For the UAW retirees, it's "business as usual".

Dosen't eliminate the discussion related to "national health", but that's really a "sticky wicket", politically speaking.

- Ron

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Old 07-16-2008, 03:14 PM   #3
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I thought the UAW is picking up the medical coverage of under 65 for GM - Part of last Union Contract negotiations?

Over 65 (as ron says) correctly has Medicare Coverage (if they choose to take it; and there must be reason or two why someone would not take it (Part B and Part D).
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by OAG View Post
I thought the UAW is picking up the medical coverage of under 65 for GM - Part of last Union Contract negotiations?
I'm sure they are (you can tell I retired from a company who had the UAW - unfortunately I was salaried, and pay a heck of a lot more in "retirement benefits ")

Of course, since contracts do come up every few years, and GM is not in the best of shape, I'm sure they don't care if their workers go out for a few months (or years ) if they can't agree on a new contract next time around.

- Ron
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