Do we really need commercial health insurance?

For anyone who questions the value of commercial health insurance and wants to understand how to fix our health care system, Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point is a must-see 58-minute film. It illustrates how commercial health insurers drive up costs and add little benefit. And, it shows us why an expanded Medicare system, which they call “single-payer,” is the smartest way to reduce costs and deliver value in our health care system.

The film focuses on how exorbitant health care costs put many businesses in the U.S. at risk and keep companies from opening factories here. And, it shows how the typical worker earning $18 or $19 an hour is wiped out if someone in his or her family gets sick. Even with insurance, people go broke paying the deductibles and other cost sharing, and businesses can go under when a few workers have costly conditions that drive up premiums substantially. “A few sick employees can take down a company.”

Video is here–>  http://fixithealthcare.com/watch-the-movie/ 

Full Article here–>  http://justcareusa.org/do-we-really-need-commercial-health-insurance/?link_id=17&can_id=5071e2b5de53b05b1c4e2f6f48dfeb35&source=email-higher-medicare-costs-if-aca-repealed&email_referrer=higher-medicare-costs-if-aca-repealed&email_subject=higher-medicare-costs-if-aca-repealed

 

 


 

Summary of Follow-Up Retiree Survey-2016

Read the Summary of Follow-Up Retiree Survey here–> Summary of Follow-Up Retiree Survey-10-3-2016

This was presented on November 2nd, 2016 to a National Meeting of Retiree Reps & GE Management, in Schenectady, NY.

 

 


 

Updated Participation Chart from Our Group Members

By John Phelps–8/12/2016Participation of members--8-12-2016

Of the 3 Priorities we set to get done before we have another Core Group Meeting, and then a Membership Meeting–via Zoom Audio/Video Conferencing, and/or by Phone–2 are done— The Salaried Healthcare Survey Results were sent to the Law Firm;  and the our Formal Website—RAGEHCC is ONLINE.  We are sill waiting for our Formal Charter to be approved; then we can have Election of Officers.

After that, we will begin to initiate our Strategies & Initiatives  again–Rally’s; Letter/Email Campaigns;, Membership Growth; A Simplified, Direct Follow-up Healthcare Survey; etc.

I know we CAN do better with our Participation Rates, as shown in the graph above.  Plain and simple–Apathy, Cynicism and Negativity have NO place in Activism & Mobilization–For us to have an Affect (and WE ARE!), and to Support the Law Suits we MUST Get Involved and Stay Unified.  This NOT the time to back off;  There is NO place for Defeatism in Solidarity!

Let’s get Re-energized, Motivated and Involved once again–This is YOUR Battle…It does NOT belong to just a few!

Stay Strong, Have Hope, and Keep the Faith that GOOD will Triumph over Evil (GE-Greedy Elite)!

Start Roaming through the Pages–Important Links, Forums, Newsletters, Lawsuit Doc’s, etc. and GET REGISTERED!

 


 

Communications Retirees Against GE Healthcare Changes

Compiling information for our team regarding trends, updates and upcoming issues that may or will concern us as we go forward.
We will make as brief and concise as possible. We don’t want to lose your attention by overloading with too much detail at this point.

Article by reporter for Reuters stated that in 1988 according to Kaiser Family Foundation that approximately 66% of employers provided health coverage, usually supplemental. By last year that number was 23%. Those that remain are shifting from defined benefit to defined contribution from employer to retiree. Consulting firm, Aon Hewitt, that operates exchanges for employers, shows 35% of public and private employers are using health care exchanges for all or some of their Medicare eligible retirees. Of those that don’t, 17% say they will in the future and another 46% say they are considering.

GE’s move has prompted two lawsuits. One salary suit claimed company broke promises it made to continue coverage and violated Employee Retirement Income Security Act. In the first case, a judge denied a GE motion for dismissal. One hourly suit claims the change violates collective bargaining agreements. GE is also seeking dismissal of the case brought by the unions.

Driving health reform includes the flood of baby boomers entering retirement. The complex task of shopping for insurance in an exchange is another hurdle. 95% of retirees using exchanges take advantage of benefit advisors who help guide their plan selections. Researching through independent brokers and comparing costs and benefits can become overwhelming to the individual making their health care decisions.

Compare Medical Costs – Get your medical and dental costs under control by comparing prices with online tools from organizations such as HealthcareBlueBook.com, NewChoiceHealth.com and FiarHealthConsumer.org.
Congress passed a new version of the Older Americans Act in April that will increase funds for services to millions of people 60 and older, including home-delivered meals, support for family caregivers and programs designed to prevent abuse and neglect. Among the key provisions of the law is a 7 percent boost in funding over the next three years. The increase will allow traditional programs like Meals on Wheels to continue receiving support.

Realizing that you may qualify for help to lower Medicare costs. If your income is limited, be sure to check out two programs that can reduce costs if you qualify. Under a Medicare Savings Program, your state pays the Part B premiums and maybe other expenses. Under the federal Extra Help program, you get low-cost Part D prescription drug coverage. To see if you qualify for either program, contact your state health insurance assistance program (SHIP), which provides free counseling on Medicare issues. To find its toll-free phone number, go to shiptacenter.org and select your state.

Hi everybody…I am back from Vacation; and I have a lot to do to catch up…both here on this GE Retiree (Salaried & Hourly) page–NOW called–on our formal page–RAGEHCC (Retirees Against GE Health Care Changes), and on my other page for Momentive (formerly GE Silicones) Retirees (in the middle of a Contract dispute, and, of course, trying to throw all Retirees–Pre & Post 65 into the Private Healhcare Exchange). Another battle I am involved in.

The 3 priorities we have been working on–

Getting our Formal Website Going–in process–great progress by Gary Poland. Hope to have up and running soon.

2nd–Getting our Formal Retiree Chapter Chartered–in process; I hope to have an answer this week.

3rd–Getting Our Membership Info & Healthcare Benefits SALARIED Survey Results to the Lawyers for use in the Lawsuits. I have taken this task, after a great job done in collecting data by Charlie Baumgartner.

Once these are finalized–we will start our ACTION initiatives once again– Rally’s, Petitions/Letter Campaigns, etc. And each Committee (Survey, Communications, Rally/Events, Membership Growth, Action Items/Initiatives, Website, etc) of our formal Chapter will be defined, and asking for volunteers to join their Committees.

As I hope many of you have seen–we have already been busy with Letter Campaigns/Petitions (John Phelps); Fundraising–for the Salaried Lawsuit and for our Retiree Chapter Group (John Phelps); the Survey (Charlie Baumgartner); the Website (Gary Poland); and Melody M Jackson has already put out a couple of Communications/Newsletters on this page.

REMEMBER—This Group is ONLY as strong as the Active Involvement & Participation of it’s Members!!

Contributions/Donations to our Group continue to come in–if you haven’t made a donation/contribution yet–please mail it to John Phelps, 12 Maple Lane, Melrose, NY 12121. A contribution/donation of $25.00 or more, goes a long way in helping us to defer costs/expenses (Survey Monkey, ZOOM Audio Video Conferencing, Action Network, Pacer Legal Account, Website Costs, Certified Letters-Costs, Supplies, etc.). We have received about 70 donations so far; and PLEASE REMEMBER–Your Donation will be counted toward your first years Dues once we are formerly organized as a Retired Members Chapter!!

We will have a Core Group and Membership Meeting, on ZOOM–audio/video, and/or by phone, to catch everyone up on goals, priorities and future agenda. We will try to have these Membership Meetings at least on a Monthly basis once we have all the formalities accomplished.

And FINALLY–keep in mind that once we are formerly organized as a Retired Members Chapter–we WILL be having Officer Nominations & Elections. If you are interested in running for office–President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and 3 Trustees–let me know.

John Phelps
Administrator- RAGEHCC


Big Pharma is Out-of-Control!!

NOTE: Click the Links in this Story for More In-Depth Stories.

It’s become an all-too-common story…

America’s drug industry has raised the prices of nearly 400 generic drugs by over 1,000% between 2008 and 2015.  The truth is, these drugs are not cutting-edge and revolutionary discoveries but in fact many weren’t even developed by the company which jacked up the price.  Instead, these lifesaving treatments, which have often been on the market for years, are being bought with the purpose of raising the price and maximizing profits.

Remember Turing and pharma bad-boy Martin Shkreli’s decision to raise the cost of a life-saving AIDS drug 5,000%? Most recently we have pharma giant, Mylan’s, announcement that EpiPen’s price tag would jump more than 400%.  Skyrocketing costs for prescription drugs certainly isn’t news for America’s seniors who’ve already seen a growing percentage of their retirement income eaten away by health care costs but the trend continues.

ADD to that…Big Corporations deserting their Retirees—especially in the area of Part D Prescription Coverage. Does it bring a Company to mind for you? How about your own General Electric Company—“bad boys” of the Corporate World with NO allegiance, nor Contractual obligation to keep its promises to it’s Retirees, to keep your hard earned health benefits; …ESPECIALLY in the area of prescription drug coverage. Don’t we hear the prescription “horror” stories everyday on our 3 GE Retiree Facebook pages?? Our Follow-Up Retiree Healthcare Survey TOTALLY supports these findings of Financial HARM to Retirees; FORCING Retirees to make Unhealthy decisions—to skip doctors’ appointments, skip medications, and/or skip procedures and/or tests because of increased costs. THANK YOU GE!!

Doesn’t it “feel” like Big Corporations, Big Pharma, and our Politicians have deserted us!

How Much of Big Pharma’s Massive Profits Are Used to Influence Politicians? <–Read This

This growing trend is especially harmful for seniors who spend a higher percentage of their income on healthcare costs and have seen their prescription drug costs grow exponentially in recent years. The Medicare Trustees report out-of-pocket costs, premiums and cost-sharing consumes 23 percent of the average Social Security check. This trend is devastating for America’s seniors.

Kaiser Family Foundation poll found a large majority of the public (72%) view the cost of prescription drugs as unreasonable.  NCPSSM Polling , and many others too, shows most Americans across party lines support allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies as a way to lower drug costs for seniors.  Reigning in high drugs costs is a critical step to making America’s health care more affordable for both patients and federal programs like Medicare.

 

Conclusions and Relevance:

High drug prices are the result of the approach the United States has taken to granting government-protected monopolies to drug manufacturers, combined with coverage requirements imposed on government-funded drug benefits.

The most realistic short-term strategies to address high prices include enforcing more stringent requirements for the award and extension of exclusivity rights; enhancing competition by ensuring timely generic drug availability; providing greater opportunities for meaningful price negotiation by governmental payers; generating more evidence about comparative cost-effectiveness of therapeutic alternatives; and more effectively educating patients, prescribers, payers, and policy makers about these choices.

 


 

Snapshots from Aon-Hewitt 2015 Retiree Healthcare Strategy Survey

Posted by John Phelps–August 9, 2016

 

How Are Retiree Health Care Strategies Changing?

Pre-65

The 2018 excise tax is forcing plan sponsors to reevaluate their health care strategies.

23% favor sourcing coverage through an exchange under a defined contribution approach

19% plan to change retiree premium cost sharing requirements

8% plan to eliminate pre-65 coverage

Post-65

58% of plan sponsors are reassessing long-term health strategies for post-65 retirees.

61% of plan sponsors that are not yet leveraging an individual market strategy will consider it in the future.

Of those companies, 33% have moved to an individual market strategy

Aon Hewitt 2015 Retiree Health Care Strategy Survey

For the Full 2015 Survey Report from Aon-Hewitt go here–  http://www.aon.com/attachments/human-capital-consulting/2015-Retiree-HC-Survey_FINAL.pdf

 


 

For the Full Survey Results—Source–2014 Towers Watson Retiree Panel Survey– https://www.towerswatson.com/en-US/Insights/Newsletters/Americas/insider/2014/lucky-fewretirees-financially-comfortable-but-health-costs-loom-large

Lucky Few’ Retirees: Financially Comfortable but Health Costs Loom Large Towers Watson’s Retiree Survey:

Attitudes to Health and Retirement November 21, 2014

By Jonathan Gardner and Nathan Schneeberger

AT A GLANCE:

 This survey examines the attitudes of U.S. retirees who receive retiree health benefits from their employer via a private exchange.

 A majority of these retirees reported higher than anticipated health costs and 84% were concerned about future increases.

 Retirees were more satisfied than older employees with their finances and less likely to have reduced spending and delayed major expenditures. This survey examines the attitudes of U.S. retirees who receive retiree health benefits from their employer via a private exchange. This generation of retirees — the “lucky few” born mostly between 1929 and 1945 — may be the most affluent ever seen in the U.S.

1 Having benefitted from post-war economic prosperity, defined benefit pensions and employer-provided retiree medical benefits, this group is significantly better off in retirement than subsequent generations are likely to be.

2 Older families also emerged from the Great Recession in better financial health than young and middle-aged families.

3 The last seven years have marked a period of great economic instability. The global financial crisis triggered one of the deepest and most prolonged recessions since World War II. Historically high equity markets and rebounding property values have coexisted with exceptional turbulence. Alongside these economic headwinds, increasing life expectancies have necessitated greater retirement savings and left many retirees wondering how much they can safely spend, especially in early retirement.

Weakened government programs for the poor and questions about the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare add to the uncertainty. Efforts to rein in Medicare spending could increase out-of-pocket costs for retirees. Many employers are paring back their retiree medical benefits, thereby shifting rising health care costs onto the shoulders of retirees. Meanwhile, retirees are encountering greater restrictions on access to care and the “narrowing” of hospital networks. Against this backdrop, Towers Watson’s OneExchange provides technology and decision support that enables full-time employees, part-time employees and retirees to build and purchase a personalized benefit portfolio, and find the right health care coverage. To better understand the experiences of these retirees, we invited a randomly selected sample of OneExchange users who were 65 or older and receiving employer-provided retiree medical benefits to participate in a series of web-based surveys, and more than 4,000 of them responded. The first survey examined respondents’ attitudes to their financial situation in retirement, and the second survey focused on their attitudes to medical costs and health care insurance.

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS:

 Respondents were very satisfied with their personal finances overall. Those who retired of their own volition were more satisfied than those who felt forced into retirement.

 These retirees were very confident of being able to maintain their standard of living throughout retirement, far more confident than employees who were asked similar questions on Towers Watson’s 2013/2014 Global Benefit Attitudes Survey.

 Retirees with a greater share of income from an employer pension or annuity were less concerned about financial risks and more confident of their financial futures than similar retirees whose income came from more variable sources, such as defined contribution accounts.

 Despite being financially satisfied, most of these retirees wished they had saved more or retired later. They were most concerned about the future cost and availability of medical insurance and health care.

 A majority of these retirees reported higher than anticipated health costs and 84% were concerned about future increases. Seventeen percent had resorted to one or more of the following to save money: skipped a dose, delayed taking medicine or delayed a prescribed test. Nearly a third had paid more to continue seeing their current doctors.

 Retirees were concerned about potential limits on access to health care, and half were worried about future restrictions on providers. These survey respondents are not representative of U.S. retirees at large because not all retirees enjoy employer-based retiree medical insurance. This group is also more likely to have a traditional employer pension and greater wealth than the typical U.S. retiree. Respondents’ average household income was around $80,000, compared with national averages of $53,500 for all those over 65 and $63,900 for those aged 65 to 74.4 As this was an online survey, respondents had to have an email account and Internet access. Slightly more than half of all Americans 65 and older use the Internet, compared with well over three-quarters of those under 65.5

 


 

LOOKS LIKE WE ARE STUCK AGAIN! At 542 SIGNATURES

UPDATE–1/23/2017–612 Signatures

On Letter to Immelt & the GE Board of Directors

Go Here TODAY and Sign (IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY)–> https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/email-to-jeff-immelt-ge-board-of-directors?clear_id=true

 

 

Important Announcements:  New Positions in our RAGEHCC Group

NOTICE–OPENING:   We are looking for a Member to volunteer to take over the Membership Growth/Collaborations/Endorsements Chairperson Position;  Connie Vick vacated that Position to take the Treasurer’s Position.

CONTACT John Phelps-President if interested in this Open Position— Phone–1-518-235-5068Email– mailto:ragehcc–phelps@nycap.rr.com

This is a vital committee where we need an Active Leader; of course…the whole Team is here to help.  Here are some of the ideas—Mission/Goals of this Committee—

The idea is to reach out to GE Retirees to join us—at our Facebook page, but more importantly, at our RAGEHCC website, and  join us officially as members.

  • Reaching out to ELFUN Groups, Quarter Century Retiree Groups, Retiree Chapters, and to informal Retiree Groups
  • Write Posts/Articles in any Retiree Group Newsletters–GERA, Local 201, others
  • Outreach out to Retirees through Rally & Events–tap into Rodney Ira’s–Rally’s & Events Committee.
  • Collaborations/Endorsement Include—  Protect Seniors, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, NCPSSM, Social Security Works, Credo, and any other senior/retiree groups we can tie into, and form a relationship with?
  • A recent idea presented was running an Ad in a magazine or online.
  • Form other ideas to grow our Membership.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Effective Immediately–David P Mcintosh has accepted the appointment to the open Trustee position; effective immediately.

Thank you Dave, and Welcome Aboard!

ANNOUNCEMENTEFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

Melody M Jackson will become the Benefits Advocate for our RAGEHCC Group.  Melody, right now, is our Secretary on the Executive Board of RAGEHCC, and Communications Chairperson for our RAGEHCC Group.  A woman of many talents and expertise, that has gone above and beyond in her dedication to RAGEHCC and its Members!

Her NEW Formal Position will be responsible for all benefits issues–mainly related to Healthcare issues, but may also cover other Benefits–Life Insurance issues, Pension issues, etc; OE issues; New Benefit Plans–design and implementation.

Please, from this point on–Contact Melody M Jackson with any related Benefit, OE and/or Benefit Plan issues– Email— doublediamond55@yahoo.com; Phone— 1-260-438-5483 (Write it down)

Please take the time to THANK Melody M Jackson for this enormous undertaking, and to THANK Her for her dedication to RAGEHCC & it’s Members!!

CONGRATULATIONS:   To Connie Vick & Erle Coleman on an excellent Presentation at Local 1004; They did a GREAT job explaining our RAGEHCC Group to the Local (3 meetings) and were able to solicit a very generous donation! Also, they were asked to start a Retiree Chapter for the Local.

Job Well Done…Thank You!

It is the dedication and commitment of our Officers & Members– like this (above), that makes our RAGEHCC Group a Powerful Voice for Change.  Thank You ALL for Your Hard Work!!  — John M Phelps–President–RAGEHCC Group

 


 

RAGEHCC Participation Survey–Update: 1/23/2017

We have 115 Responses So far—Come on People–Let’s Get it Done!

We Need ALL Our Facebook and RAGEHCC Members To Fill Out this Participation Survey–Do it Today!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FSNSPC7

We are trying to collect data about Member Participation. We started our Group last year–in late April of 2016–to give our Members a VOICE about the GE Healthcare changes. We did, and continue to do– Rally’s, Letter Campaigns, Petitions, Lawsuit Updates, had Speakers at the GE Annual GE Shareowners Meeting, etc. We also implemented many tools to help us all participate–a Facebook page, a Survey Tool, Online tools—Action Network, a Formal Website–RAGEHCC, Newsletters, an Email Distribution System, an Audio/Video Conferencing Tool, etc. We have also done all we can to help our Members with Benefits questions and/or issues. And finally, we have been investigating and offering Benefit Plans to help our Members save costs, and receive quality, comprehensive care (i.e.–Rx Help Centers–for prescriptions).

Honestly, our participation has been dismal lately ( on a “good day,” maybe 20-25% participation of over 1250 Facebook Members), and we are trying to get answers, as to why?That is the purpose of this Survey–to try to improve participation (help you to participate), and grow our Membership; your answers will help us to do that.

All names and answers (by individual persons) will be kept CONFIDENTIALso PLEASE give us your honest answers. If anything is reported out from the Survey, it will be in generic summary form, without names.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FSNSPC7

Thank You—RAGEHCC Executive Board

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The Results of “The End of the Year Challenge–2016”

I Know We Are BETTER Than This; That We Can Do BETTER Than This!

Participation So Far-Graphic--Rate--1-7-2016.docx

Register/Join Our RAGEHCC Website— http://ragehcc.org/wp-login.php?action=register

Make a Donation–Pay the $25/Year Dues— http://ragehcc.org/fundraising/

Sign the Letter to Jeff Immelt & the GE Board to Resolve the Lawsuits—  https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/email-to-jeff-immelt-ge-board-of-directors

 

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A New Year–2017–Do You Need Help with Prescriptions?

Rx Help Centers Flyer--JPG

 

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Many New Communications Updates–On News & Newsletter Pages

From Melody Jackson–RAGEHCC Secretary & Communications Chairperson

Go Here to Read–>  News— http://ragehcc.org/news/ ;  Newsletters— http://ragehcc.org/news/newsletters/

 

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Official Announcement:  New Treasurer for RAGEHCC

Due to personal reasons, Erle Coleman will no longer be the Treasurer for RAGEHCC; we THANK Erle for his service to our Group, and his continued dedication to the RageHCC Leadership Team!

Due to the vacancy upon Erle’s leaving the position, I have appointed (consistent with our By-Laws) Connie Vick as Our NEW Treasurer; she will have the help of her sidekick–Ray Vick…a GREAT Team! All future financial transactions will be handled by Connie & Ray–receiving dues and donation checks, receiving online donation/dues, paying bills, keeping track of all our income and debits–our financials.

All Contact Information for Connie Vick can be found on our Membership Info page on RAGEHCC–> http://ragehcc.org/membership-info/ ; all dues/donations info can be found here–> http://ragehcc.org/fundraising/

Please Thank Erle, and Welcome Connie in her new position!

John Phelps–President-RAGEHCC

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Update— 11/17/2016 from John Phelps—President

A Historical Perspective

We are a Nationwide Activist Group of BOTH Salaried & Hourly/Union GE Retirees. Recently, we have authorized the expansion of our Membership to active GE Employees getting closer to retirement.

There are many Strategies & Initiatives we have accomplished, and of course, many more on the horizon—Letter Campaigns/Petitions, Lawsuit Reviews & Updates, Rally’s, Healthcare Surveys, a Formal Website; we have also implemented many tools—ZOOM Audio/Video/Telephone Conferencing—to have Leadership Team Meetings & General Membership Meetings—since we are a Nationwide group; Survey Monkey—A survey tool to collect data on Healthcare, and other uses; the Action Network—to post Petitions, Letters Campaigns, Email Campaigns, and to maintain an Email Distribution List; a Formal Website—with many communication tools & functions, and specialized pages for our Members. We also working on Benefit Plans to help our Members save costs—i.e.-Prescriptions Plan—Rx Help Centers; Dental/Vision Plans; and eventually Medical Plans ( investigating this now, in the exploratory phase). Since we started in April of this year-2016, we have come a long way.

We have grown from a social media site (Facebook page) to a formally organized, structured organization—now called RAGEHCC—Retirees Against GE HealthCare Changes. We have completed our Elections, and formalized our By-Laws. We have set up a Bank Account to handle our financials, and also set up a PayPal account to receive deposits and send monies. We are in the process of “bonding” (protecting) our Financials through Eberts & Harrison Insurance Company. We have received our IRS Tax ID Number, as a Non-Profit Organization. We had tried to organize, and be Chartered, under the “umbrella” of the CWA Retiree Council, but that didn’t work out due to too many restrictions on our Salaried members. We then looked at some Senior Councils—i.e.-Mass Senior Council; but again…that failed to materialize. We are now approaching a large organization—called ProtectSeniors.org. The purpose of such an affiliation or membership with a larger organization (say as “sub-chapter” of that organization) is to save bonding and insurance costs (liability, financials, officers, etc.); which can be quite costly.

The organization of our Facebook Page—called Retirees Against GE Healthcare Changes, began on April 22, 2016—our birthdate. Our first logo was—

GE Healthcare Changes--Targeting Retiree Income--Cover

We started to formulate and organize our RAGEHCC Group—with our website—August 8, 2016. This was followed by our Procurement of our EIN—Employer Identification Number—on September 6, 2016; the Election of Officers—October 26, 2016, and By-Laws adoption—November 10, 2016. So, I will call November 10, 2016 the birthdate of RAGEHCC. Our logo was changed to—

RAGEHCC_1000x169

We really hope everyone has seen how far we have come, and how much we have accomplished, and how our hard work has benefitted all of you. Now that we formally organized as RAGEHCC—Retirees Against GE HealthCare Changes; we are ready to renew our commitment to our Strategies & Initiatives—to put continued pressure on GE to change its position regarding Retiree Healthcare changes. We are looking for Resolution to our 2 Lawsuits—the Salaried & Hourly LawsuitsWe strongly support an increased RRA—Retiree Reimbursement Account; a fair & equitable solution that gives ALL Retirees & Their Dependents the RRA; the inclusion of every class of GE Retirees & Dependents (i.e. those that were on disability retirements at the time, the elderly that did not manage to complete their applications on time, Retirees/Dependents that did not meet the “qualifications and restrictive time period set,” etc.)

We can only accomplish all this through the involvement of each and every one of youWe need you to contribute in any way you can—time, effort, activism, the sharing of your gifts and talents, and of course—financially.

We just started our Membership Drive for 2017. It has 2 components—Membership Growth, and Fiscal Responsibility—we need everyone, that can…to Contribute to our cause; by paying your 2017 Membership Dues. Please make your commitment today

To Register (Join Us) at our RAGEHCC website—please go here–> http://ragehcc.org/wp-login.php?action=register

To Submit Your 2017 Membership Dues, Please Go Here–> http://ragehcc.org/fundraising/

“Evil Can ONLY Triumph, when GOOD Men/Women Do Nothing!”

John Phelps—President & Your RAGEHCC Executive Board

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The Leadership Team (Officers & Committee Chairs) —

Have Endorsed RX Help Centers–

If you are on long term or maintenance med’s, specialty med’s or brand name med’s–there could be significant cost savings to you and/or your dependents. (see the testimonial below)

We strongly encourage you to check out the Website (personalized for RAGEHCC), at–

http://www.rxhelpcentersragehcc.com/

One of our Retirees saved $20,000 per year for a drug that cost $5000 for every 90 day supply!

Our Rx Helps Centers RAGEHCC Page

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RAGEHCC 2017 Open Enrollment

RAGEHCC 2017 Open Enrollment. Effective immediately we have opened our RAGEHCC membership to all active as well as retired GE employees, Hourly and Salary. If you haven’t been affected by cuts in benefits at this point, you certainly will be in the future. We have all experienced the impact. Our efforts to minimize the impacts on our coworkers will continue to grow with our membership support. Our National Membership Drive has begun for 2017.  Membership grants you full access to Lawsuit Info, Reduced Prescription Cost Opportunities and personal experience and support information on our website. The stress mentally, physically and financially will impact all of us if we don’t take action. Our goal is to sign up the over 1200 current Facebook members. In order to Maintain our website, Conduct Zoom Conference Calls, Distribute Updates to coworkers and Implement the Strategies and Initiatives we need your help to make this happen. Dues are $25 per year per retiree/employee.

We have had much of our success at this point from donations by our Core Group and a few coworkers. We can’t maintain this level without your commitment. All checks should be sent to RAGEHCC Treasurer– Connie Vick;  , Send checks to PO Box 521 Winfield, KS 67156 for the 2017 Membership Dues;  Make out Check to Connie Vick-Treasurer. We welcome your participation and feedback.

For Online Membership Dues, go here–> http://ragehcc.org/fundraising/

Please Read the Flyer –> RAGEHCC Flyer

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EMAIL PETITION to JEFF IMMELT & GE BOARD of DIRECTORS

Time for RESOLUTION Of the 2 Lawsuits!

PLEASE SIGN–EVERYONE!

As a follow-up to our Nationwide Follow-Up Retiree Healthcare Survey & The National Meeting of Retiree Representatives & GE Management in Schenectady, NY on Nov. 2nd–we are submitting this Petition to Jeff Immelt-CEO, and the GE Board of Directors.

Please go here and Sign this Petition Today

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/email-to-jeff-immelt-ge-board-of-directors

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Summary of Yesterday’s Meeting of Retiree Reps & GE Management–In Schenectady, NY

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

This is a copy of my email to the Meeting Organizers from the Union & the Company:

Hi Marybeth (Global Benefits Leader)…first of all thank you to you, your staff, and Greg (HR guy) for hosting this Meeting…I think it was informative, constructive, and also presented many challenges to the GE Team.  Your Team received many kudos for their help and assistance with many retiree issues—well done!  My personal opinion is …we shouldn’t wait a full year to have these Meetings…we may be able to collectively avoid issues, and brainstorm as a Team…all to help, support and/or assist our Retirees.   Thank you for the list of Global Benefits Personnel, and the Sign-Up List with all it’s important information.  I will try to make up a Distribution List of all Retiree Meeting Attendees;  although some are hard to read…we made need to get accurate email and phone information from some.

I, also, want to thank Bill Freeda & Kevin Mahar (Union Reps & Organizers of this Meeting) for putting this together, and getting all those great Retiree Rep attendees to the Meeting, from all over the Country…well done!  I counted 14 Retiree Reps in attendance.  I loved Owen’s “farewell speech,”  I hope it’s NOT his farewell speech.  God bless this 82 year old Retiree;  and Thank You Owen for all your years of service to Retirees.  When someone “retirees” from being a “Retiree Rep,” they deserve to recognized…I think it would be 100% appropriate to have a Service Award Plaque done for Owen Humphress?

My first request is that we all get any recorded (written) minutes (collective—from all sources/members in attendance) of yesterday’s Meeting, and do a composite summary.  I know you took notes (Marybeth–Global Benefits Leader);  I am sure your staff did; and I know Greg Capito (HR) said he did.  I would think One Exchange—Davis Speier did also…since there many issues that were addressed to One Exchange.  I didn’t see Greg Capito’s name, or other information (email) on the Sign-Up List?  Can you ask Greg if he is willing to provide his information?  Please forward this email to Greg.

I will try my best, to summarize my takeaways from this meeting—I’m sure others have their points/summaries to make to this “collective minutes” of the Meeting?

Bill F brought up “Pension De-risking” and was assured there are NO talks being considered at this time about de-risking our Pension Plan.

All Retiree  Reps need to get any GE Benefits Information sent out to Retirees (or One Exchange Information, mailings, etc.)—regardless of whether we are signed up for our Post-65 Medicare options through One Exchange or NOT.  I think you and your Team saw…we are there to help Retirees in any way we can;  and we receive numerous emails, phone calls, etc from Retirees to address questions and issues they are having.  We  also run meetings/seminars ourselves with our Retiree Groups.  We should NOT have to receive information, mailings, etc. …  secondhand.

Karl Asmus & Ron Flowers (Union Retiree Reps) gave very moving personal stories of their struggles with this new Private Healthcare Exchange. I would hope every kind and type of assistance was given them by the Global Benefits Team.  I believe I heard there was help from Global Benefits Team.

I (John Phelps) presented valid data received from a good cross section of our retirees—salaried and hourly, from all across the Country;  our Retiree Follow-up Healthcare Survey—October 2016—I believe the Survey showed deep “Dissatisfaction” with One Exchange, and pointedly showed many “Harms” our Retirees are experiencing –physical/medical—skipped doctor appts, skipped med’s, and skipped procedures/test;  mental harms—anxiety, confusion, stress, anger and betrayal;  financial harms—increased costs—plans, premiums, co-pays, deductibles, out-of-pocket, prescriptions, etc.  Greg made the statement that this was good data, that they could and would address;  and he said he hoped we would continue to collect this data in the future, so we could improve all aspects of Retiree Healthcare Plan/System.

Bill Freeda  (Union Rep & Organizer) asked if all the Retiree Reps could get a copy of GPAF Form.

My main takeaway was this—we need to look at and address any ways we can IMPROVE our delivery and service of Retiree Benefits—there was a lot of discussion on costs— RRA amount of $1000 is just NOT doing it  ( it is very low compared to some industry standards);  prescriptions—Tiers changing, Formularies changing and not consistent (we can work together to devise/design some type of Rx help program to our Retirees);  tremendous out of pocket expense that has forced a good percentage of our retirees to make drastic lifestyle changes; and not being dramatic—these added costs are literally “killing” our people, because our most elderly and/or most sickly (especially those on maintenance or specialty drugs -i.e.-cancer, diabetes, renal failure, heart disease, etc.)—are skipping doctor’s appointments, skipping medications, and skipping medical procedures and tests.  We asked that this message be brought to the “top”—Jeff Immelt and the GE Board;  and that they consider all ways we can, to alleviate the physical/medical, mental and financial suffering of Retirees.  TOGETHER—we can come up with viable solutions, and return our Retirees to the lifestyle and dignity they deserve AFTER many years of service;   they earned these Retiree Benefits.  We highly recommend Resolution to our Lawsuits that is fair and just; and takes into consideration all of our concerns  (and I do mean all of us…Company & Retiree/Union Reps)—that was expressed so well yesterday!

I look forward to other attendees comments and notes.  Please forward to all attendees that you have emails for…thanks.

Thank you.

(NOTE:  We will follow this up with another Letter Campaign to Jeff Immelt & the GE Board of Directors–we NEED the same kind of Response that we got with our first Letter Campaign to Jeff & the Board–BIG NUMBER of RESPONSES)

John M Phelps

President—RAGEHCC

President—IUE-CWA RMC-81359

12 Maple Lane

Melrose, NY 12121

Chapter Phone—518-328-8404

Home Phone—518-235-5068

Cell—518-409-0441

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Big Meeting Tomorrow…Nov. 2nd, 2016, in Schenectady, NY

Retiree Reps–about 18 of us from across the Country & GE Mgmt–I will discuss the Follow-Up Retiree Healthcare Survey; and the 5 pages of Comments from Retirees on Higher Costs–to show the “Dissatisfaction” with the NEW Private Healthcare Exchange (One Exchange) and the “Harms” done to our Retirees–Medical/Physical, Mental and Financial Harms.

We will make our voices heard; and we will follow this up with a Letter to Immelt & the GE Board of Directors!

I know everyone will be with me, and all the Retiree Reps, in spirit!

Here’s the File, the Booklet for tomorrow— Summary of Follow-Up Retiree Survey-10-3-2016

John Phelps–President & Leadership Team (Officers & Committee Chairs)

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Message from John Phelps–President–RAGEHCC

We Have Completed 2 pieces of our Formal Organization of RAGEHCC–We have our EIN, and we just Completed the Election of Officers.

We are now looking at establishing our By-Laws, and Affiliating with a Larger Organization that we can become a Chartered Retiree Member Chapter.

As we FORMALIZE our Nationwide Group–RAGEHCC, We will need to formalize our Membership and our Financial Structure. I would love to say everything is FREE in this world, but that would naïve, and it would be a lie to say that. To Implement the Strategies & Initiatives we have done, and will continue to do…it does require a MINIMAL comittment of money, in another words…a Dues Structure. We also use many Tools that help us to be more effective in making our Voices heard, and to better communicate with each other; remember, we are a “Nationwide” Group from all across the Country.

So, let’s understand where we are atMemberships, and with our Financial commitment from Members. We have 1200 Facebook Members; of those 1200 Members, we have 300 that have formally Registered/Joined our RAGEHCC Group; that is about a 25% response/participationWe need to do better in our Membership comittment area. Financially–we have received 107 Donations from Members (that is a LOW 9% response); NOTICE…I said “donations,” NOT Dues. Plain and simple…if everyone doesn’t contribute, or formally pay dues…how do we continue to finance our Strategies, Initiatives and the cost of our Tools (other structural and organizational costs)? In the past, a FEW have made the financial comittment; while MANY have sat on the sidelines…THIS IS NOT FAIR!We are NOW going to ask EVERY Member to step-up, and pay the NOMINAL $25.00 a year Membership Dues. We are asking EVERY Member of our Facebook page to JOIN the RAGEHCC Group (and Register/Join us at our Formal RAGEHCC Website.

I am asking you to MAKE the COMITTMENT to Our Fight, To Our Group, and to Each Other. We need to ALL Stand Together if we ever want to see GE change it’s position regarding Retiree Healthcare. We can influence the outcome of these Lawsuits; we can push GE to resolution…BUT WE MUST ALL STAND TOGETHER WITH ONE VOICE, IN UNITY!

So PLEASE…If YOU HAVEN’T…GO TODAY, and Register/Join Our RAGEHCC Group at– http://ragehcc.org/wp-login.php?action=register; and THEN GO TO this page to give the VERY NOMINAL Amount– $25.00 per Year Dues– at http://ragehcc.org/fundraising/ (if you haven’t given already).

Share this–post it, email it, call your Retiree friends and colleages. Let’s see a GIGANTIC spike in Membership!

Thank YOU!!

“Evil can ONLY triumph when Good People do NOTHING!”

John Phelps–President–RAGEHCC

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RAGEHCC Election Results:  Congratulations to Winners!

congrats-2

GE Healthcare Changes--Targeting Retiree Income--CoverJohn M Phelps—President

Gary Poland—Vice President

Melody Jackson—Secretary

Connie Vick—Treasurer

1st Trustee—[Opening]

2nd Trustee—Charlie Baumgartner

3rd Trustee—Gary R Johnson

 

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Fundraiser/Membership Drive–For 2017

 

We have 107 Donations to date–ALL Donations will be used to cover your first years Membership Dues (now…it will go towards 2017); a $50.00 donation will also cover the CWA Retiree Council Fee (a One-Time, Lifetime Fee of $25.00). We are doing this Fundraiser to collect money to cover expenses for the remainder of this year, and for next year-2017. We need your HELP!

 Or if by CHECK –send to Erle Coleman, RAGEHCC, 20848 85th Rd. Winfield, Ks. 67156. Name on check–“Erle Coleman-Treasurer”; mark your Memo line–“For RAGEHCC Expenses.”

IT’S TIME TO MAKE THE COMITTMENT!  Make Your Donation (Dues) Today!

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