Here We Go. IBM Offloads Retirees Health Care to “Exchanges”

Wait, I thought the new branding term was “marketplaces.” Whatever. From Reuters:

IBM plans to move U.S. retirees off its company-sponsored health plan and shift them into new public insurance exchanges as a way of lowering costs.

IBM had selected Extend Health, which is owned by Towers Watson & Co, to provide retirees with new health options for medical, prescription drug, dental and vision coverage, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The plan, it said, offered IBM retirees more choice and better value than the company could provide through existing group plans. …

While some retirees may be skeptical, studies showed that the majority of people have a more positive outlook once they were presented with the concept and understood the options available to them through these exchanges, IBM said.

Moving retirees to an exchange allows companies to reduce rising health care costs.

According to the website Alliance@IBM, an employee group, the plan will come into effect starting January 1, 2014.

First they came for the retirees. Then they come for you. No worries, though, because if you’re looking for outstanding service and choice, who better to go to than the government?

I’d be interested in hearing from any of you who are IBM retirees, or who know any IBM retirees. What do you think of this development?

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