Skip to comments.Citing costs, IBM to move retirees off health plan
Posted on 09/07/2013 7:49:24 AM PDT by lowbridge
International Business Machines Corp. plans to move about 110,000 retirees off its company-sponsored health plan and instead give them a payment to buy coverage on a health-insurance exchange, in a sign that even big, well-capitalized employers aren't likely to keep providing the once-common benefits as medical costs continue to rise.
The move, which will affect all IBM retirees once they become eligible for Medicare, will relieve the technology company of the responsibility of managing retirement health-care benefits. IBM said the growing cost of care makes its current plan unsustainable without big premium increases.
IBM's shift is an indication that health-insurance marketplaces, similar to the public exchanges proposed under President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul, will play a bigger role as companies move coverage down the path taken by many pensions, paying employees and retirees a fixed sum to manage their own care.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
It’s a private Medicare Advantage/Supplement exchange, not an Obamacare exchange.
“That is what retirees get for voting for Democrats.”
A broad brush statement. This retiree never voted for any rat.
It will be the norm again.
Health is expensive, and there are not enough resources (machines, nurses, medicines, etc) to give everyone great care. Never has been (triage).
We have had an oddity of history where people think that someone else can pay for their very expensive health care. We are going back to the norm. Which means life expectancy will, not may, will, drop.
Because the new nobles will not want to pay for the rest of us much longer.
I don't know why you omitted the most crucial group who doesn't care: The patient with cadillac health insurance fully paid by their employer. "I don't care what it costs, I have insurance." This once-upon-a-time standard scenario is about to become extinct, precisely because patients didn't care about the costs.
If you are in pain and dying and the drug company says you need this pill twice a day for the rest of your life at $ 25 bucks a pill
In a truly free market, there would be viable competition to produce alternative pharmaceuticals, and drive down the cost of monopoly drugs. What we have instead is an FDA government regulation monstrosity, trial attorneys salivating for drug and medical supply side effects, and drug patents extended for decades by simply changing the shape of a pill.
Don’t mean to double ping you, but your comment about priests and pastors indicates you haven’t studied history.
We don’t have the good priests or pastors we had 100 years ago. For the simple reason is that the pay is bad, the hours long, and there are other more attractive options for an intelligent man to work at. There is an old pastor at my church who said he went into the line because it was the best work a man of his intelligence and station could get in to (not the money, but the prestige and calling). Most pastors now are not of his stature, and are quite frankly weak kneed ninnies scared to offend anyone or empire builders who are more concerned about selling the next new building than saving souls.
In short, when there became other options for educated but lower station men to do, they stopped going into the clergy.
If we continue the same path we have with doctors, there will be fewer of lower quality and skill. This is already happening. I personally know of three skilled doctors and surgeons who have quit rather than take the pay cut under Obama care. One was replaced with a nurse practitioner, the others have not been replaced (and are not likely to be).
There are very few people who will go into medicine (or the clergy) just to “Help” people.
The FDA/Pharma cycle is an incestuous loop.
IBM suggested that younger workers move to India. They would be paid less by the company but their dollars “would go farther”.
Anything to keep the upper wigs’ bonuses and golden parachutes.
Spoken like a true blue liberal.
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” President Barack Obama, Aug. 11, 2009
When they want to pay turd world wages and same damn you for wanting to remain in the birth country of America, hell yes I say screw them.
I got a degree, they lie to Congress that there aren’t enough people in this country to do the work, then they pocket the difference.
Middle management is going abroad as well. So is simple legal work, financial work, graphic design.
It isn’t just the computer nerds who are up sh!t creek.
The dirty secret is that corporate America is unhappy with Indian labor but they like the salary levels.
How that Obamacare working for you?
IBM Offers To Move Laid Off Workers To India
http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/outsourcing/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=213000389&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_News ^ | Feb. 2, 2009 | Paul McDougall
“IBM has established Project Match to help you locate potential job opportunities in growth markets where your skills are in demand,” IBM says in an internal notice on the initiative. “Should you accept a position in one of these countries, IBM offers financial assistance to offset moving costs, provides immigration support, such as visa assistance, and other support to help ease the transition of an international move.” The document states that the program is limited to “satisfactory performers who have been notified of separation from IBM U.S. or Canada and are willing to work on local terms and conditions.” The latter indicates that workers will be paid according to prevailing norms in the countries to which they relocate. In many cases, that could be substantially less than what they earned in North America.
IBM has laid off more than 4,000 workers in the United States since the beginning of January, according to an employee group. The company has confirmed layoffs but won’t comment on specific numbers.
A spokesman for Alliance@IBM, a workers’ group that’s affiliated with the Communications Workers of America but which does not have official union status at IBM, slammed the program. “IBM is not only offshoring IBM U.S. jobs but they want employees to offshore themselves through Project Match,” said the spokesman.
An IBM spokesman said the program shouldn’t be seen in that light. “It’s more of a vehicle for people who want to expand their life experience by working somewhere else,” said the spokesman. “A lot of people want to work in India.”
You got a degree. That's nice. Did IBM reimburse you for that degree? Does Big Blue have competition these days? How do you suggest IBM remain competitive worldwide?
It's rather difficult to get past your seething anger at "corporate fat cats" to engage in a rational discussion.
This will be the norm with our without Obamacare. Health insurance costs have been going up and up and up for decades. U.S. corporations just can’t carry the cost anymore. They never got into business to provide healthcare for their workers.
Most likely IBM supported Obamacare so it could push people out into the "markets." Big Business and Big Government go hand in hand.
Corporations cannot and should not be obligated to pay for 26 year olds who are not insuring themselves, but one example.
That's a valid point, but how much does the coverage for a 26 year-old cost compared to the coverage for someone who is 65 or older? I'll bet the cost for the 26 year-old is intangible in the context of the full insurance plan the company was offering before.
I also contend that it makes no sense for corporations to pay for insurance for people who they don't even employ anymore.
Look at the auto industry, for example. A company like GM was saddled with enormous pension and health care liabilities that many of its competitors -- including those building cars right here in the U.S. -- don't have to deal with simply because they don't offer their employees defined-benefit pensions or lifetime medical insurance coverage.
The problem is — the exchanges are another step on the road to serfdom. After the exchanges fail, government will step in as an angel of mercy (or death panels) and rescue the sick and feeble. Everyone will be given free health care with most doctors and nurses working for the government. This was the plan (or hope) of the socialists all along. They knew what they were doing.
There is no way corporations could have anticipated the advances in health care that allow retirees to live so much longer but through expensive procedures and medications. I know someone who worked there 30 years, then retired at age 60 with a 2/3 salary pension for life and free health care for life.
During retirement they have had hip replacements, cancer surgery and chemo/radiation, pacemaker, eye surgery, and are on a dozen prescriptions, some cheap but most expensive. They are now 82 and could likely live another ten years. Meaning they will have been retired for more years than they worked there, drawing 2/3 salary plus health care while contributing nothing to the company for the last 30 years.
This is simply unsustainable, and IBM like SS, can look forward to thousands of baby boomers retiring every day. It is very unfortunate for those who were promised the moon in retirement by their employers and may not have a Plan B. It is a lesson for those who are younger, to know that employer promises cannot be relied on and you must plan to provide for yourself.
As for IBM offering to transfer IBMers to India at their expense, I see nothing wrong with that. The world is changing. At least they are offering to let you keep your job instead of just having you train your Indian replacement then laying you off, which is the alternative. They are in business to make a profit and benefit their shareholders, not as an altruistic social agency.
Contrast this with public employee unions who just extort more taxes out of you and cut services if they don't get them, hiding the fact that the extra taxes are not necessarily paying for current services but for hefty retiree obligations. They have no incentive to lower costs and will hold public services hostage until you pay up.