Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (6) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: telone One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19483  
Subject: Re: Retire early, too good to pass up? Date: 5/1/2000 3:30 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
warmwinter writes,

At age 56, I have an opportunity to take what may well be a one time chance to absolutely INSURE health care
coverage.

< I'd be interested in the form of this "absolutely insured health care coverage."

Unless you have a good union or gov't job, a private employer's promise on this issue may not be worth much. Almost every
corporate annual report I read includes a line in the footnotes that says,

"while XYZ corp currently provides health coverage for retirees, we reserve the right to change or eliminate this benefit in the
future."

intercst>


I agree with intercst. I currently am retired from a Fortune 500 company and each year they chip away at the benefit. To the retirees in one "division" they capped the company contribution toward health insurance premiums which shifted costs to the retiree. Or they pay only "the average of ordinary health costs" which means they allow a basis for their 80% at a rate about 60-75% of the actual charges of the doctor, determined by some employer-paid group using statistics that they will not reveal. Another bank breaker. Or the company may at will increase the pharmaceutical/drug % to the retiree (which by the way Medicare does not pay). Or they decide to exclude certain services or require a second opinion before admission to the hospital ecetera, ecetera. Or they may (as the company that I retired from did) force everyone in a geographic area into an HMO --- and if you refused, they raised your co-pay or deductable so high that it strongly motivated youy to move in the direction of the HMO. And, if you are in an HMO, will they pay for treatment if you are on vacation (outside the HMO area) or in another country? Pehaps, but be ready for a big fight and lots and lots of letters/phone calls, etc. Also, be careful that your plan does not have a LOW maximum lifetime benefits cap (say $1MM), afterwards the company will pay NOTHING. Translated, this means that yoiu should avoid having any MAJOR illnesses or accidents after retiring, i.e no heart attacks, no life threatening illnesses (Ha-ha). (Note: this is why they keep a close tally of the benefits claimed and paid.) Plus -- most importantly -- all employer-paid plans fall under ERISA, not controlled by any states or by any Federal patient's rights legislation. This means that the company can (and will) change plans anytime (if they feel financially threatened) and they are exempt from any lawsuit disputing a claim unless you have a Johnny-Cochran-like lawyer on your team (get ready however to have deeeeep pockets.) Lastly, if you have a claim denied, who do you appeal it to? You guessed it --- the company, certainly not biased in your favor. Take care. Once you are retired your company will actively seek ways to reduce whatever financial burden (health costs being one) that you are to the company's bottom line. Or the company may merge or be sold --- and all the GREAT promises made are tossed to the wind. Now, having heard all of this, are you willing to trust "the company" to hold good on their promises? Ask BIG BLUE retirees, Eastman Kodak retirees, Wang retirees and you'll find the health retirement benefits being tightened eah time they turn around. Take care. Good luck in your decision.

Telone.
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (6) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next

Announcements

Foolanthropy 2014!
By working with young, first-time moms, Nurse-Family Partnership is able to truly change lives – for generations to come.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Post of the Day:
Macro Economics

Looking at Currency Ratios
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement