Posted at: 09/09/2013 6:37 PM
By: Sean Boswell
IBM Rochester Changing Retiree Health Plans
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Rochester based IBM has announced it plans to take retirees off its healthcare plan and instead, pay them to find their own healthcare through a company called Extended Health.
Changes will impact about 110,000 IBM retirees.
"We prefer to be able to plan on some kind of a constant heading into the future, ‘cause that’s what retirements all about,” said President of the IBM Alumni Club Roger Spee.
Former IBM employees have mixed reactions.
"When we were dealing with IBM in the past, we basically chose several programs and you chose from those 2,3,4 options as to which best fit your particular needs. Now you're going to be dealing with Extended Health and they have a whole gamut of programs that are available, companies that are available,” said former IBM employee, and current Dodge Center Mayor Bill Ketchum.
The change will affect retirees who are Medicare eligible, but IBM says it's not a cost cutting move.
"I specifically asked: Did Obamacare force you to make this decision. The answer was ‘no,’” said Spee.
"Nearly all of you will be able to enroll in medical and prescription drug plans that are of equal or better value than IBM can currently offer," said Dr. Kyu Rhee in a YouTube video.
The company predicts health care costs, under the current plan, will triple over the next few years.
"IBM is making Medicare Exchange available to you because the rising cost of health care in the current group model is no longer sustainable for you or the company,” said Rhee.
The change is set to go into effect next year and Roger Spee says it's "going to be an education."
"People really can't sit back and wait until December 31st before they make their decisions on this. They really need to call up and get it rolling."