LRO Members’ Comments On Lucent Healthcare
Enrollment Costs For 2007
Palos Park, IL
I cannot believe the cost for medical insurance! This
year our monthly fee for medical insurance (no dental insurance) has gone
from $515 in 2005 to $863 for 2007 for myself and my husband (Aetna POS
II). We thought
that perhaps the cost would decrease because we moved from NJ to Florida
(and all you hear is how high insurance is in NJ). But I guess where you
live makes no difference at all.
When I left Lucent in 2001, I knew that they would keep on increasing this
amount because they indicated that they had the right to change it. What I
didn't realize was that they would be allowed to change it so drastically.
There should be a cap on how much they are allowed to change the monthly
charge from one year to the next. For next year alone the fee increased by
$ 173 a month!! I really wonder if they are paying any portion of my
insurance. We will pay over $10,000 in medical insurance this year - where
will it stop!!
Although those who retired ages ago continue to get their coverage for free,
many of these individuals are probably covered by Medicare by now - so how
much is Lucent really paying for them?? When is the government going to
review what companies like Lucent are doing?
Lucille Goggi - July 2001 Retiree with 36 Years
Ormond Beach, FL
I have not received my package in the mail as yet to
make my decision on health care for myself and my husband but I did look
on-line this morning and I am appalled.
Lucent has raised my deduction for health care over 100% for next year! I
have gone from $69.64 to $169.12. That is 17% of my pension! How can that
be? How do they expect people to live on what they have leftover?
Especially since I got in the mail that they (Lucent) were transferring
money to cover retirees health costs. This is unbelievable! If the time
frame to make up your mind is as stated in the LRO email(by Nov 17th) I
don't even have time to search out other coverage for us. This is hitting us
very hard and I am so disappointed with Lucent. We all thought we were
retiring from a great and honorable company only to get worked over by them
over and over again. When does it end?
Thanks for listening.
Clifton Park, NY
This is my response to express my disappointment with
Lucent Medical Insurance coverage plan for Retirees.
Through my entire career (33.5 Years) with Lucent
(Western Electric /AT&T/Lucent) I did not have to pay additional Insurance
for my wife. So when the retirement plan was offered to me I took it in
order to be eligible to pay only 10% of my medical premiums (unfortunately I
was not aware that due to my annual income the automatic coverage for my
spouse will be dropped, and I would have to pay the group premium coverage
cost for her). None of this was information was provided at the time I
was applying for my retirement. This continued increase each year had caused
a great amount of stress and financial burden on me. I am a Type II Diabetic
and my medical prescription are also on the rise. I had to go back and work
full time in order to meet my current financial obligations
When I retired in July 2001, my medical insurance
premium was only 2.1% of my gross monthly pension income. For 2007 my
medical premium will be 36.6% of my gross monthly pension income. At this
rate it won't be long before my entire pension will used for medical
insurance. I feel that this is so un just especially since I devoted 33.5
years of loyalty & dedication.
Jesse C. Perez
I have just received my enrollment sheets and my
premiums rose 24.7% from $147.12 to $183.48 per month. The coverage is for
basic 1 person Medicare eligible and 1 dependent traditional indemnity.
Gene W. Treadway
healthcare expenses (Aetna POS and Dental) now consume 34.4% of my pre-tax
retirement paycheck. Lucent raised my Medical payments 23.5% this year. I
can find no evidence on the Internet to substantiate that health care costs
have risen by that amount. One can only assume that either Lucent is using
its retirees to subsidize health are costs of their regular employees, or
perhaps it is using us to subsidize some other corner of their expenses.
Like many others, I am concerned with spiraling cost of insurance.
It seems totally unreasonable when you look at the chart below,
which reflects the costs I have incurred for medical and dental
insurance since I retired in 1999. The total amount is shown on the
chart with the green bar. I pulled the information for one-person
and family coverage to show what the charges have been for one
person (employee – shown with pink bar) and for spouse/family(shown
with blue bar). As you can see, when breaking out the cost for the
employee (one person) and spouse (family or two person), there were
some economies in having more than one person on the plan. However,
once they took away the spouse subsidy, the rates have skyrocketed.
My health care costs have increased over 5400% since 2001. My
husband and I are not Medicare eligible.
I clearly remember my conversation with the Benefits office when I
retired with 32 years service. I was told that if I took the
package that was being offered, I would have insurance for my
husband and me at no cost. It was inferred that if I did not take
the package at that time, there was a possibility I would not have
this coverage later. Up through 2003, I paid what I feel to be
reasonable rates for insurance. From that point forward, the
increases have been astronomical. The main reason has been the
removal of the spouse subsidy.
One of my major concerns now is the ominous threat in this year’s
package about what will occur in 2008 and beyond. Isn’t it
interesting that they would make this threat when they are merging
(or being taken over) by a French owned company, whose France-based
are covered by government sponsored health care?
is clear Alcatel does not understand the U. S. healthcare crisis.
They eliminated all subsidies of their U. S. based retirees health
For individuals with pre-existing conditions like cancer, it is
virtually impossible to obtain insurance in the private sector. I
talked to several companies to inquire about the possibility of
obtaining private insurance for my husband. Once they found out he
has had cancer in the last five years, they would not even take an
Supposedly, Lucent is self-insured. That makes a lot of sense when
you have many employees who don’t have the time or need to go to the
doctor. However, when you have a predominant retiree group, it
would certainly seem to me Lucent could negotiate group rates at a
much lower cost than what we are seeing. Lucent being in the
insurance business by being self-insured is like having the “fox in
the henhouse.” I feel that Lucent is using the retiree/spouse rates
to subsidize their
they explain our exorbitant increases when employee’s insurance only
increase 4% this year?
will provide no accounting for health insurance, we have no way to
know. Lucent has no incentive at this point to try to negotiate
rates that are more reasonable.
Returning to work is probably the only alternative for many of us.
I hope Ms. Russo and all of the executives enjoy their multi-million
dollar salaries. As my mother always said, “what goes around comes
around.” I just hope I am still alive to see them get their
The following information is for myself and my wife ONLY - DENTAL
paid coverage was dropped by the company in the last two years or so and I
now DO NOT HAVE DENTAL COVERAGE. It would cost me between $60 and $80
DOLLARS per month to have the coverage now - was free when I retired. I
will go on medicare in Feb 2007. I received a letter a few years back that
dropped full coverage for management retired ( spouse coverage) who made
over $ 70K in a year. Out of my 36 years I only made this amount one year.
I do not know how this can be a cause for coverage to jump like Lucent has
2000 $ 00
2001 $ 35 best guess
2002 $ 54.25
2003 $ 140.83
2004 $ 221.00
2005 $ 515.87
2006 $ 689.58
2007 $ 860.00
My gross Management pension is $1213/mo and $1095 net
of federal taxes. If I stay with my current HMO of Illinois BCBS coverage,
the premiums jump from $125/mo to $166/Mo, nearly a 33% increase! The
$166/mo would represent 15% of my net-after-taxes pension check. Last year I
chose to cancel dental because of the rising costs, only to get hit with a
root canal and cap to the tune of $1800...out of my pocket.
I do have the option of taking the Aetna Basic POS at
$97/mo and still keep my current PCP, who I've been with for years and wish
to stay with. While that saves me money, I would be looking at playing dice,
as I did with dental (and lost), because the Aetna POS only covers the 80%
of reasonable and customary costs. If I had an expensive hospital bill, I
would not be able to cover that difference. During the past year, I had
considerable work done on skin cancer...three surguries and eight frozen
spots. The total bill so far is about $10,000. Without HMO coverage I would
have had to come up with a lot of money from my paocket. No guarantee more
spots won't appear, so I will probably opt to pay the $166 just to be safe.
One last interesting point. I have a good friend who
has HMO Illinois BCBS but from IBM. Her cost is $70/mo for 2007. Nearly
$100/mo less. Perhaps there are very good explanations for this, but on the
surface I have to wonder why.
The trend in these costs is very worrisome. At 30%
inflation a year, my pension is gone in about 6 years!
Thomas B. Erwin
Sugar Grove, IL
with great sadness and anger that I report that over the last 6
years of early retirement our health insurance costs % of pension has
0% in 2000 & 2001
2.7% in 2002
6.96% in 2003
10.95% in 2004, 2005 and 2006
22.23% in 2007
I was able to take early retirement in October of 1999 because I had
invested the vast majority of my savings over 31 years in Lucent stock.
At the time of my retirement I was well set for my future. I had so
faith in my company that when it was doing so poorly I kept believing it
couldn't possibly go any lower and if I gave it time it would recover.
As we saw our savings dwindle more than we could ever imagine we were in
a state of depression. We didn't know what to do so we did nothing. It
has only been within the last month that we gave up and sold our Lucent
stock. All we had when we sold our stock was 8.46% of what we had in
January of 2000.
To add insult to injury now my company is robbing us of the benefits
assured us we would have for our faithful service.
Here is my healthcare information.
My coverage is Horizon BCBS New Jersey for 2 persons on Medicare.
In 2006 my premium is $472.62. In 2007 it will be $680.57--a 44% increase.
Dental will go from $77.85 to $82.89 in
For the last two years my monthly, individual insurance
premium was $129. This new package for my 2007 coverage states that in order
to maintain the exact same coverage - which is not great to begin with -
since most of my doctors that I have seen for 30 years, are out of state
and/or out of network - will cost me $249 a month - almost a 100%
I retired in 2000 with 27 years with the company. My premium
increased from $129 a month to $249 a month! I do have an option to reduce
my coverage and pay $129.65 per month. I am 56, and I HAVE NOT USED my
insurance at all this year (2006) and not once in 2005 or 2004 - Oh, I did
get one prescription this year for a cruise, but that is it - nothing else.
I wonder if I'll have any $$ left by the time I reach Social Security and
Medicare - that's assuming that it's still available by the time I'm 62 or
I MAY BE THE
EXCEPTION SINCE I RECEIVED MY RETIREMENT PACKAGE ALMOST TWO WEEKS AGO. I
CALLED IN ON THE 6TH AND TOLD OF THE CHANGES THAT I WANTED MADE WHICH WAS
SWITCHING TO PARTNERS.
RETIRED PRIOR TO MARCH IST, 1990, CAN SIGN UP WITH PARTNERS AND WILL NOT
HAVE ANY PAYMENTS DUE LUCENT. THE RETIREE PAYS A CO-PAYMENT OF $10 TO $20
FOR EACH VISIT TO THE DOCTORS. ALSO, PARTNERS HAS BEEN HIRED BY MEDICARE TO
HANDLE ALL OF THEIR PAPER WORK. OF COURSE THE PLAN MAY BE DIFFERENT FOR
DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE COUNTRY. LOCALLY, MOST ALL DOCTORS THAT
ARE AFFILIATED WITH FORSYTH AND BAPTIST ARE IN THE NETWORK.
I HAVE NO IDEA
HOW MANY RETIREES RESIDE IN NORTH CAROLINA THAT WOULD BE ILLEGIBLE FOR
PARTNERS. MANY THAT I DO KNOW HAVE SWITCHED TO PARTNERS AND ARE VERY
I can not describe what happened when I opened the "big
yellow envelope" and looked at our health premiums for '07. The mixture of
sick feeling, anger and general distress was indescribable.
Our premiums for health and dental coverage went from
11.22% of my retirement check to 22.40%. In dollars, the health premiums
jumped from $156.07 per month to $384.14 per month. This is an increase of
We are looking at living off my small retirement check
and two Social Security checks in a not too distant future. We still work
but we don't make anywhere the kind of money to save anything. We work to be
able to live at somewhat middle class standard. I don't know how long we can
do this because my wife and I are over 60 years old.
What about 401K savings? It is wiped out. I am one of
those that believed in the Company. I worked and retired from AT&T
Network Systems for 31 years. We didn't even know about Lucent when I left
in 1994 but we were lumped with them at the split. I had put all our savings
in Company stock, both AT&T and converted into Lucent. The management seemed
to be the bright young lights of AT&T NS. Well, the rest is history. I
believe we were lied to in countless ways. The mismanagement was rampant.
The by product is obvious - executive after executive has left with millions
of dollars worth of separation packages while people like us hold our breath
every time the "yellow envelope" arrives.
I could go on. All I can say is that we need to pursue
every possible legal recourse for disclosure and fair treatment. I am sure
all of the LRO retirees feel the same way. I personally will be glad to help
in any way I can.
My coverage doubled for what I am receiving right now.
I am paying $210.00 for just the healthcare premium for
2006. For the same coverage the cost will be $446.00 for 2007. What is
happening??? I can't afford this kind of increase!!!!! I don't know where I
am going to get the money. My husband is diabetic.
received my 2007 benefits package. With the increase in costs for medical
and dental insurance for my husband and me, those costs in 2007 will consume
63.4% of my monthly pension check. I am the family insurance provider
because my husband is self-employed. He has had some catastrophic health
problems over the past two years which continue to the present time, so he
is basically uninsurable through any source other than Lucent. When I took
the retirement package in July 2001, I had planned that my pension check
would probably be the primary source for paying for healthcare benefits
until my husband and I became social security eligible.
However, considering the current rate of annual increases and the fact
that I have no faith whatsoever that Lucent will even continue retiree
benefits after this so-called "merger of equals" with Alcatel, my primary
objective in 2007 will be to try to find a job with benefits to carry us
through the next six years.
had a documentary on television the other night discussing this very issue,
and the consensus was that the new paradigm for current and near-future
retirees will be that the majority of the population - what used to be the
"middle class" - will never be able to quit working. So much for the
My medical insurance
almost tripled from 2006. If I keep the same coverage in '07, it will cost
almost 25% of my retirement. Not bad unless I want to eat and continue to
live in my home. I am another retiree becoming more and more dissatisfied
with a company that I spent over 30 years with in Columbus.
Johnstown, OH 43031-1017
My wife and I are
facing a 42.5% increase from $647 to $922 per month [for healthcare
premiums, without dental]. Unbelievable!
The increase for my
share of the medical insurance premium went up by 46% from this year to
next. This is for the default United Healthcare option for a single person.
This year the monthly premium is $260.67/mo. Next year it will be
Paul R. Smith
I am one of those being greatly affected by Lucent
reneging on their promises of medical coverage.
My current monthly pension check is for $2,007.97 a month, I now pay $704.92
for medical and dental. My 2007
medical coverage will now be $1,004.15. After taxes and medical that leaves
me with $818.82 a month pension. I was receiving $1118.05.
As a result of the increases in medical, I had to look
for employment and at almost seventy years old not to many opportunities
were available. The only work I could find was an evening custodians job at
the local school which I have accepted.
It now looks like I am destined to work till the day I
die, thanks to Lucent.
I retired from Lucent in Columbus, Ohio on July, 2001.
The first check I received from Lucent the company deducted $17.07 as the
medical premium for me, my spouse and dependent son. The medical payment
went up to $54.25 in the year 2002. The premium went up to 140.83 for the
year 2003 for myself and my spouse since my son was 23 by then. The payment
went up to 221.49 for 2004 and stayed the same for 2005 and 2006 (Though
Co-payment increased and 10% of lab expenses were to be paid by retirees
were added during that time).
My premium is going up from $221.49 to $449.56 for the
year 2007 (|more than 100% increase). The medical premium will be 27.9% of
my pension that I accrued during the 23 years of my service with ATT and
Between 2001 to 2007 my medical premium has gone up
from $17.07 to 449.56. 2008 seems like another rate hike year in the
cards. Since I am only 61 years of age at this time, I wonder what my
premium amount is going to be by the time I will be 70 or older.
After all these years of service, it seems like you
need to be either CEO or CFO to enjoy the fruits of your service but the
middle or lower echelon management is there ONLY TO SERVE and not much more.
Thanks for the opportunity to express myself.
Chandra K. Chaudhuri
Here is a summary of my Health Cost increases since October 2006 when I
became Medicare eligible up to the 2007 rates that I received during
Lucent's open enrollment period.
Remember this is a plan for me and my wife who is not 65 until 2007.
2006 Two person coverage--------$169.42 per month
2006 Two person-one Medicare----$544.93 per month
2007 Two person-one Medicare----$638.71 per month
I was also advised by Lucent that once I became Medicare eligible that
the Lucent subsidy towards medical of $327.08 per month was reduced to
The math portion of the increases are astronomical on a percentage basis
from September of 2006 to the current rates not taking into
consideration the reduction in subsidy. Net result is 23% of my monthly
pension before taxes will go towards paying for Health care through
As a Lucent 2001
retiree, I was shocked to see the enormous increase in my healthcare premium
Medical (Individual) Dental (Two)
2006 $129.84/mo $77.85/mo
2007 $249.25/mo $82.89/mo
Increase $119.41/mo $ 5.04/mo
Increase 92.4% 6.47%
I certainly didn't
expect to see a $1500 annual increase in premiums for the coming year and
that doesn't even include deductibles and co-pays. I can understand sharing
some of the costs; but, it's a shame that Lucent would pass on huge
increases like this. And, what are we to make of pronouncements of 7.8%
projected increases issued only a month ago and then find that that doesn't
even come close to reality.
Morris Plains, NJ
received the message from the LRO regarding 2007 enrollment and the increase
in premiums, I too am afffected as I know many other retirees are.
retired in 2000 and at that time my monthly premium for medical insurance
was around $50.00 a month. For the year 2006 the monthly cost for myself
and my husband is $221.49, which is for United HealthCare POS. The cost for
2007 for United POS will be $449.56 (more than 100%). I currently receive
monthly after taxes and insurance $1224.82. This increase will be a severe
hardship on us.
thugh the coverage is the same, I will be paying more each month, but
co-pays are more and deductibles have increase.
never been under more stress than I am now. This is suppose to be our
"Golden Years"....I don't see any "Gold"......only "RED".
I am a Single male that retired from Lucent.
This year i have had deducted from my small pension the
amount of $97.13 for Medical and $35.45 for dental.
The new Benefits Package shows that to keep the same
Benefits with Aetna POS, I will have to pay $216.54 per month.
I can get Aetna Basic POS for $96.94per month.
Is it worth it ???
I do pay for Dental coverage at $35.45 per month. I
have been using that same Dentist for about 5 years with no problems. This
year, I went for a cleaning and it was rejected. Why am I paying over
$400.00 a year and now I have to pay for a cleaning??
I would like to
respond to your request for information regarding the effect of Lucent
Technologies increases of healthcare and prescription drug premiums.
My husband, Steve
McLaughlin, retired from Lucent in July of 2001 after 31 years, 7 months of
service. With the offer in place at the time of his retirement, he was
credited with an additional 5 years of service. His annual gross retirement
income is $33,710.00.
I retired in June of
2004 with 16 years of service. My annual gross retirement income is
As of July, 2004, our
total gross monthly retirement income was $4,137.48.
When I retired, my
healthcare premiums were covered by my husband. Our cost, per month, for a
2-person, 0 medicare plan, was $221.49. Our cost, per month, for dental
care was $25.00 each. This money, $271.49 per month, represented 6.5% of
Starting in January of
2005, the cost, per month, of a 2person, 0 medicare health plan,was $515.87,
an increase of 133%. The cost of our dental plan premiums increased to
$32.00 each per month, an increase of 28%. This money, $579.87 per month,
represented 14% of our income, an increase of 7.5%
Starting in January of
2006 I was no longer eligible for coverage by my husband because his annual
salary prior to retirement was greater than $65,000.00. The cost of an
individual health plan for my husband was $129.84 per month. My cost for an
individual health plan was $424.21 per month. This money, $554.05 per
month, was an increase of 7.5%. Our dental plan premiums decreased to
$27.52 each per month, a decrease of 15%. This money, $609.09 per month,
represented 14.7% of our income, an increase of .7%
Starting in January of
2007, the cost, per month, for my husband's individual health plan will be
$249.25, an increase of 92%. My monthly health care premium will be
$543.62. This money, $792.87 per month, is an increase of 43%. Our dental
plan premiums will decrease to $25.72 each, a decrease of 6.5%. This money,
$844.31 per month, represents an increase of 38.6% per month to maintain
health care and dental coverage for 2007, a full 20% of our GROSS RETIREMENT
INCOME, an increase, per month, of 6.3%.
From July of 2004 to
January of 2007, my husband and I have gone from paying $271.49 per month to
$844.31 per month, an increase of 211%.
would have been pretty happy with an 8% increase to my medical coverage.
Mine went from $221 to $450 per month for my wife and me. Now we are trying
to figure out how we are going to make it. This is not what I expected when
I retired after 30 years of service in 1998.
Thomas H Gilbert
Monday, November 06, 2006 8:00 PM
I see we
received another substantial increase in our Health Care Benefits. Mine went
from $690 a month to $860 a month. If I calculate right I believe this is
about a 25% increase. Last year my Health Care Benefits increased from $515
to $690, an increase of 34%. In 2004 they went from $140 to $515, an
increase of 367 %. If I calculate the total change from 2003 to 2007 the
increase is 614%. I do not believe that the cost of benefits could possibly
increase by this much in a 4-year period. If I added in the cost of dental
it would be even more. A friend of mine who is still a Lucent employee,
whom I will not name, pays about $34 a month including dental for the same
coverage. I understand that health care costs have increased but I do not
see how Lucent can justify increases of this magnitude. Maybe it reflects
the mismanagement by Lucent Executives such as Rich McGinn spending $50
million of Lucent's money to build a golf course and then when Lucent did
terminate him, he was given a $20 million plus severance package in addition
to his $1 million retirement. If you think I am bitter, you bet I am after
giving 31 years of my life to helping AT&T and Lucent grow the business
including 23 years in international and after retiring being treated like
this! I feel that the least Lucent could do is treat their retirees better
than this but I feel this will fall on deaf ears!
Thomas E. Swanson
I retired in 2000 and am now 61.... I have not
received my benefits package in the mail but, I got info from the on-line
site....my costs have gone up for my wife and I to $863/month...a 25%
increase from last year.
Time to go back to work.
Palos Park, IL
I got my package. My premium doubled and then some.
I received my
benefit enrollment package over the weekend. I expected some increase, but
I was not prepared for what I saw. The new cost for my "Default Coverage"
had increased from $97.13/mo (individual, I had to drop my wife's coverage
last year and let her obtain coverage through her job as a teacher) to
$216.54 - an increase of 123%!!! Relative to my gross pension payment, that
translates to an increase from 5.9% to 13.1%.
I don't know where
to go to find out how such outrageous increases are "justified" by the
overpaid executives who "managed" the Company I left in 1996 into the joke
it is today. At this point, my only options appear to be to risk the
"Basic" healthcare plan and hope I don't have any serious health problems,
or go back to work to insure that the current gang of Lucent executives can
continue to receive bloated compensation for driving a once-respected
organization further toward oblivion.
Will my wife and I
survive? Sure we will. I didn't struggle to get to this point in my life
to lie down and roll over for Lucent Technologies. But, yes, our dreams and
plans WILL be adversely affected - and I'm mad as hell! I did everything my
Company asked of me for 25 years - and I did a pretty good job of it if I do
say so myself. It's just plain wrong for the Company to undercut the
benefits I earned, and that were promised to me to keep me performing during
my working years. I am not deceived by the smoke-screen. I am being forced
to pay for poor management decisions, while they are being
Thanks for all your
efforts on behalf of us retirees. I'm proud to be a part of the LRO!
retired in 2001 and my medical insurance for two people was 59.00. In 2002
it was increased to 221.00,and now 2007 it changes to 449.00 (no Medicare;
no dental). We were promised that Lucent would pay 90% of our medical when
we took the retirement package. I hope that woman running can now give
herself a large bonus, because we are paying for it. Soon there will be no
pension but all health care!
Larry W Owens
I have been reading
some of the blog postings about the health insurance cost increases for
2007. People are quoting increases from 2 to 20 & 30 %. My increase is over
100% from $221/mo to 449.56/mo. This is outrageous.
I retired on 12-30-99. This drastic rise in our
healthcare for 2007 is now going to cost me close to one fourth of my total
retirement and if you look at my take home $$ it is one third. We have not
had an increase in our retirement check since I retired, it just keeps
coming down and every thing keeps going up. I have had to get a job just to
make ends meet.
H. W. Reynolds
I just received my
Benefit "Choices" package. The increase is more than the 7.8% rate for
health care. My increase is 246+%...from $156.07 to $384.14 and the
Traditional Indemnity Coverage has been dropped. I live in a remote area,
either 50 miles or 80 miles from larger cities that might have Dr.s in the
POS networks. 80 miles to Dr.s in the previous POS network.
I of course will be
checking for participating providers in the new networks, but this could be
devastating to us. We
are care givers for my wife's mother, who is a Hospice patient in her
home...ie...we cannot just pick up and move or easily take a full day off
for Dr. visits.
I was one of the
people that were told that I would have the same heath care I did when I
left Lucent for the rest of my life. This was a phone conversation. I did
ask for a written confirmation and received a "general" letter which was
God help us in 2008.
received the LRO email about the health care situation, and have now
received my Lucent package. Although my financial situation is
fortunate, and the Lucent premium increases will not cause me hardship.
I thought my data would be of interest.
This year's increase is 25%. Over the three years since 2004, my
premiums have gone up 289%. The 2007 premiums will consume 28.6% of my
pre-tax Lucent pension. I consider this grossly outrageous, and
can only conclude that Lucent is deliberately trying to push people out
of their program to reduce their liability.
Other information in case interesting patterns emerge as to whom Lucent
is penalizing most: I am 54 (55 on Wednesday), and my spouse is 53.
I have a chronic illness. Lucent's costs have gone up
BUT there are still out-of-pocket maximum's with both the drug and medical
plan. I believe the 2007 out-of-pocket maximum is the same as 2006. I hit
these numbers every year. Once the out-of-pocket is reached, our plans pay
100%. I am worried that 2008 will see our policies not have max out numbers.
Rising policy payments and increased out-of-pocket limits are an issue, but
the total loss of out-of-pocket caps would be much more onerous.
Morris Plains, NJ
I received the Lucent healthcare package yesterday and
thought I would pass along the info on my cost increase. If I keep the same
medical plan option (not sure how much the coverage is reduced!) for next
year, it will cost me 25.1% more, with a monthly premium of $862.80. If I
enroll in the same dental plan option for next year the cost increase is
6.5%, with a monthly premium of $82.80.
I would sure settle for the Hewitt Assoc projected
increase of 7.8%! It is clear that a sub-set of retirees are carrying the
load for healthcare and subsidizing healthcare for the current employees.
This unwarranted healthcare increase sure appears to be a vindictive move by
Russo and her cronies to show retirees just how much disdain they have for
I am a
retired Lucent Technologies management employee. Once again as we do every
year at this time, I received my healthcare enrollment package for 2007. I
have been surprised many times in the passed few years with the increases in
medical rates. Mine have gone up from $10 (in 2003) to $483 (in 2005) and
$202 (in 2006), a month for Keystone Healthcare Plan East HMO. I was floored
when it increased to $483 a month in 2005. Now for 2007 to keep the same
provider it will cost me $933 a month. This is an increase of $731 a month
on a retirement income. The cheapest rate offered, means changing providers.
This would cost me an additional $336 per month, costing a total $538. per
month. Just maybe one of your readers, a politician, Keystone insurance
agent or some healthcare expert can offer a reason for this unjustified
increase. I did not include Lucent because I know they would blame it on the
In my 63
years of existence I am on no medication. I consider myself to be a healthy
medical situation all started with our great politicians letting companies
mess with employee’s benefits. Lucent did it with their retired management
employees when it instituted the policy if a person made over a certain
amount (salary while working) it would no longer cover medical for their
spouses. The Company sent management retirees a letter stating that they
would have liked to spread the medical cost to all employees, but the
politicians would not let them. Sounds like discrimination to me.
only guess, but it seems to me that the insurance companies along with the
other corporate world giants are playing a game with their retired senior
citizens. The pattern suggests forcing one out of a plan and into another.
This puts them in a class with the cut throat CEO’S that have and are still
playing games with the retirement funds. Funds that were earned over many
years of dedicated service. If these funds were not messed with there would
be sufficient funding for all even at today’s ridicules increases.
I received my benefits package on Friday and am still upset about the
increase to my monthly contribution. I retired with 35 years at a B
level (therefore my pension is not that high to begin with). Anyway,
when I received my preliminary package in early October and it was
stated that there would be a substantial increase, I was looking at
maybe $100/mo. My benefits went from $221/mo to $449. I'm just shocked
that there could actually be an increase of over 100%. I'm just
appauled. I cover myself and my husband. My husband will be getting
his benefit info about a week before ours is due to be finished. We
will look over his to see if it is cheaper for him to go on his own.
At this point I will now be getting about $900/mo on my pension. This
comes out to be about 30% of my pension goes to healthcare. To me, that
is way too much. That is the main reason that I am still working -
went up from $689. to $862. A 7.99% increase. The increase is 26% of my
pension. I am 58 years old so Medicare is in the future for me and my wife
who is 55. Hopefully, Medicare is still around!
I have been
looking around for alternative insurance from other sources and can't find
anything comparable. I'm just glad we still have it.
Keep up the
great work! I can't believe how many retirees don't belong to the LRO and
NRLN. I forward all information I receive to my fellow retirees from Lucent
and they count on me for the information. When I ask why they don't join, I
get mixed response.
Ormond Beach, FL
thanks to you and your staff for all the work you have done and are doing.
What our former employer has done to the retired managers of Lucent is truly
shameful. It is hard to believe the people who they are destroying, are the
same ones who gave so much for so long. It appears the union understood how
they work better than we did. At the time we thought we were part of the
"team". I am sure most of us now feel we were duped and made fools of.
Since retiring in 1990, I have been fortunate enough to move on with a
second career as a financial planner, but realize many others could not do
that because of age, health or family conditions. Through your efforts we
have a voice and perhaps we can have a fair hearing and our day in court.
Keep up the good work and the fight for equal treatment and promises made.
Thanks again or all you do.
know where the Hewitt got the 7.8% average increase in healthcare costs.
Mine was actually 268%. I am blessed to be healthy and have not had the
need for medical care or prescription drugs for most of my life. I had
opted for the Catastrophic plan and even with a $35/mo premium, they
were making money from my premium. To get a basic plan with the lowest
coverage, I now have to pay $129/mo. Also, my supplemental life
insurance increased 55.5%. I feel like I am being penalized for being
healthy. I guess I could just opt out and take my chances. I really
don't see the Lucent coverage being a viable option for much longer. I
think soon we will be able to find comparable coverage cheaper on our
let you know my insurance cost doubled!!!!! It is only for my healthcare
coverage. I had to get the wife her own because they wanted just too
much and it does not cover dental.
I had Aenta POS last year. I was only paying $129.65 this year. Next
year it is up to $249.25 and with what seems like more out of pocket for
prescription drugs. While
this is relatively a small amount compared to others, I am looking at
My insurance costs were increased from $530/mo. [in
2006] to $670/ mo. [in 2007] Looks like 25-26% to me. Lucent is screwing us
on Medicare thru Kaiser and my wife has standard Kaiser. 2-3 years ago
Lucent stopped paying for my wife’s coverage based on their formula at that
time. I fought this with them for one year because they were not using my
correct base pay at time of retirement. They were using what at the time of
my retirement was "Full Salary Equivalent" which included bonuses and other
incentives. In any event they would not listen. I imagine many others were
in the same situation.
to the current issue, I retired in 1994. My monthly pension is $3,091. My
2007 medical insurance cost is now 22% of my before taxes pension. As I
this current medical insurance increase is 25% over last years cost. I know
others whose pensions are smaller are in much worse shape than we are.
for all you are doing to help!
Discovery Bay, CA
--Upcoming 2007 medical costs for spouse & self:
--Upcoming 2007 dental costs for spouse & self: $84/month
--Upcoming 2007 prescription drug costs for spouse & self: $75/month
--Total medical, dental and drug costs: $1,070/month
--Monthly gross pension: $2000
--Percent of pension that medical, dental and drugs will consume: 53%
--Service: 24 years with AT&T/Lucent
My husband worked for
LTV Steel. He lost all of his health care benefits in 2001. Then in late
2001 the Company declared bankruptcy and he lost 60% of his pension. Of
course that is only going to get worse as the PBGC will be bankrupt in the
next few years also.
I wish I had copies of
all the letters I have sent to my Elected Officials in both Ohio and
Florida. I have been writing about this subject at a rate of 3 times a year
since 1997. I wish the whole country would get behind this critical issue.
Maybe then something would get done. There absolutely has to be legislation
that will protect the millions of middle class Americans that are not
protected by a Union Contract.
Enough of my
rambling. My health care cost will
double for 2007. It is increasing from
13.65% of my pension to 27.25% of my
pension. My 2006 monthly health care premium is $156.07. It
will increase to $384.14 in 2007. Neither my husband or I are on Medicare. I
know cost are escalating out of control but they have not doubled in the
last year. I would like to know if Aetna doubled the cost of our Health
Insurance. Somehow I don't think so.
I have been madly
looking for work and have finally found a job in a Call Center. I start
tomorrow, November 6th. Ironic that this is the first day of open
Yes, I certainly read
the ominous warnings about the changes that will occur for 2008. My
assumption is that they will stop funding the Health Care Cost entirely. I
am sure that they will provide us with a group plan that will allow us to
use our entire pension to pay for our health care. What a Thank you for
those of us that built this Company. We wouldn't want the Pat Russo's of
the world to suffer any financial hardship.
I am appalled that
this just continues to go on and it doesn't even get any Media Coverage. I
just am glad that all of us Baby Boomers Vote. I just pray that we make
them pay for not moving in the right direction.
I am certainly hoping
that [U.S. Senator] Mike Dewine, one of the Bush Puppets, does pay with a
loss of his current career.
Even though it never
seems to help, thanks for listening.
Thanks for the LRO
efforts. I have sent in my annual dues.
I retired in October, 2001. My health care
cost were $54.00 a month for my wife, my grandson ( we have legal custody)
and myself. That was approx. 3% of my pension. This of course has increased
dramatically over the last 5 years. Beginning in January my cost will be
$869.00 A MONTH! this is almost 24% of my pension! That does not even take
into account the co-pay increase or the increase in the deductible! I figure
that over 35% of my pension now goes for health care!
I always read the articles about how hard it was for some retirees
to survive on their pensions but I never dreamed I would become on of them!
I worked for Western Electric, AT&T, and of course Lucent for 40 Years and
this is what they do for their management people. I bargained many contracts
with the 3 different unions we had in Columbus and always felt I did
everything possible to help the Company but I must admit that now I wished I
was a Union member because they are not getting killed by the greedy,
ungrateful, incompetent leaders of Lucent! I am not eligible for Medicare
and need two more years for my family to go through this, hopefully then my
cost will be reduced.
Richard L Long
Having just received
my "yellow package", I decided to tell my story in the attached spreadsheet
and bar chart. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to "fold in" the gradual
reductions in the health benefits over the period reflected in that bar
chart, which Lucent implement made via increased out-of-pocket expenses in
some categories. These, of course, add to the financial hardship of many
concerns my coverage, it includes my 23-year-old daughter to the end of
2006. Yet, even with her becoming ineligible, the coverage for my wife is
about 90% of the total. My wife is 59, so she won't become eligible for
Medicare till the year 2012. The few outside plans that I checked were more
expensive than Lucent's current cost, which means that I'm stuck!
Cost of my
Lucent Health Benefits (Medical Plan & Dental Plan): 2001 - 2007
% HB relative to
medical Plan and Dental Plan
My first full
year in retirement is 2001. I retired on May 12, 2000.
On September 1,
2006, I became eligible for Medicare, thus the cost of Lucent's
$689.58/month to $637.62/month. However, I started paying a
Medicare premium of
which increased the cost of medical insurance from $689.58/month to
The actual cost
increase of the Lucent medical plan, without the dental plan, from
2006 to 2007
$698.82-$637.62=$61.20, or 9.60%. Factoring in the dental plan, the
cost was $77.85/month in
increases to $82.89/month, the total cost of my Lucent health
benefits increases from
2006 to $781.71/month, or 9.26%.
in coastal North Carolina and are only offered POS plans by Aetna and
United - both carriers are very difficult to deal with. We chose Aetna
- limited selection of doctors and constant negotiation with Aetna to
have claims paid.
Costs for two people, non-Medicare. 2005 cost $480/month; 2006 cost
$656/month or 37% increase; 2007 cost
$831/month or 27% increase. For 2006, our out of pocket cost to date,
including premiums, copays, etc. are about $10,500. We are fortunate to
have a good pension (for as long as that lasts) but the healthcare costs
are now a serious financial issue for us.
Thanks for your good work with the LRO.
I retired in 1987 after 32 years with Western
Electric/AT&T. I was a first line supervisor. For 25 of those years, I was
involved in the manufacture of telephone network systems. I have seen my
pension shrink due to the cuts that have been made, mostly since Lucent was
formed in 1996. I retired as an AT&T employee (28 years WE & 4 years AT&T)
in 1987. I couldn't understand why I was assigned to Lucent? But soon found
out that I didn't have a say in the matter!
I can remember when our co-pay for prescriptions was
$15 for three months supply and our deductible was $100. We had Medicare
Part B refunded (thats $177 less a month now for us). We had dental
coverage. I could rest easy with my $50,000 death benefit for my wife that
is now gone. Now we are faced with a merger that is so scary for us older
folks we don't know what to think. I must admit, I did not foresee a time
when good ole Western Electric would let all their good people down like
this! I was a loyal and hard working person and I know many, many others who
were also, and we did not deserve this kind of treatment from the new powers
I'm hoping that the court cases go our way for a
change, and we can get our promised benefits returned. Thanks for hearing me
Leigh Acres, FL
A LITTLE HISTORY FIRST.
AT 50 YEARS OF AGE IN 1996 ON A REDUCED PENSION WHEN LUCENT
TECHNOLOGIES WAS SPLIT FROM AT&T. I WAS A MEMBER OF THE TECHNICAL STAFF
THE NETWORK SOFTWARE CENTER IN LISLE, ILLINOIS.
I GOT TO THE NSC AFTER RELOCATING FROM NETWORK SYSTEMS IN WINSTON-SALEM
1989 (PLANT CLOSING) AND WESTERN ELECTRIC IN BALTIMORE 1984 (PLANT
CLOSING). BOTH RELOCATIONS WERE A FINANCIAL HARDSHIP, BUT I RELOCATED
BECAUSE I WAS DEDICATED TO WHAT USED TO BE A GREAT COMPANY AND HAD A
GOAL TO GET A GOOD PENSION FROM THAT DEDICATION.
MY PENSION IS $17,406.24 AND HAS NOT INCREASED SINCE DAY ONE. MY
PREMIUM FOR 2007 IS $4,609.68 PER YEAR. THIS IS 26.5% OF MY PENSION. AN
15.8 % OVER 2006. AND $4,609.68 MORE THAN THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT I SIGNED
WHEN I RETIRED IN 1996.
CO-PAY'S HAVE INCREASED FOR VISITS AND SCRIPS. THE AFTER INSURANCE
$ HAVE STARTED FOR PROCEDURES THAT NEVER HAD NO AFTER INSURANCE $ DUE TO
DOCTORS AND LABS. SOME CHARGES ARE 1$ AND UP. NOT MUCH MONEY BUT A FEW
DOLLARS MIGHT COVER ONE OR TWO PRESCRIPTION CO PAYS.
I HAVE STARTED A SECOND CARRER IN MARYLAND ( MY HOME STATE) TO SUBSIDISE
NEED FOR FOOD, SHELTER , CLOTHING AND PROVIDING FOR MY FAMILY.
THANK YOU AND ALL FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO THE RETIREES AND FOR KEEPING
LUCENT UNDER THE MICROSCOPE.
FOREST HILL, MD
After reading Ken Raschke's letter, I thought I would
pass on the increase amount in health care costs I experienced.
My wife and I will pay $684.66 in January 2007. This
is a 9.8% increase over the $623.45 I am now paying. I am on Medicare (my
wife is not yet eligible) and we have the Lucent - Medco prescription plan.
No other benefits. I retired in 1996 after 32 plus years service with
Western Electric / AT&T / Lucent.
The $684.66 a month will represent 14.5% of my monthly
I am disgusted with the treatment retirees receive when
I learn of the salaries and benefits accruing to Russo and the other
non-performers. It is a travesty of fairness and justice and a slap in the
face to those who built the original Bell System and made it operate as the
finest communication network in the world.
Former colleagues and co-workers are outraged at the
treatment retirees are receiving.
I AM A LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES RETIRED PERSON , WHO HAD 38 YEARS WITH
THE COMPANY BEFORE FORCED RETIREMENT.
THE COST OF MY MEDICAL BENEFITS FOR THE 2007 YEAR HAVE RISEN
DRAMATICALLY FOR THE SAME COVERAGE. MEDICAL BENEFITS FOR 2006 HAVE BEEN
$96.31 PER MONTH AND FOR 2007 THE SAME COVERAGE WILL SKYROCKET TO $165.21
PER MONTH. A RISE OF APPROX 71%
MY DENTAL PLAN HAS ALSO RISEN FROM $77.85 FOR 2006 TO $82.89 FOR
2007. A RISE OF APPROX. 6.5%.
I AM CURRENTLY NOT ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICARE AND THUS HAVE TO PAY
THESE EXPENSES FROM MY MONTHLY PENSION CHECK, WHICH IS A FIXED AMOUNT FOR
THE FUTURE. MEDICAL BENEFITS FOR 2006 HAVE COST ME APPROX. 8% OF MY
PENSION CHECK AND FOR 2007 THIS AMOUNT WILL GO TO OVER 11%. WITH 2008
PROMISING EVEN HIGHER COSTS TO ME.
WHEN I STARTED WORK WITH WESTERN ELECTRIC CO. (W.E. Co.) I WAS
PROMISED THAT MY MEDICAL BENEFITS WOULD BE TAKEN CARE OF BY THE WISE
INVESTMENTS MADE BY THE COMPANY TO INSURE THAT MY PENSION AND BENEFITS WOULD
BE ADEQUATE FOR MY NEEDS. WHEN WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY BECAME AMERICAN
TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH (A.T.&T.) THAT PROMISE WAS REMADE TO ALL EMPLOYEES.
NOW THE NAME OF THE COMPANY IS LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES, AND THE PROMISES HAVE
BEEN THAT ALL OUR BENEFIT NEEDS WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF BY THE HUGE AMOUNT OF
MONIES IN OUR PENSION FUND -- OVER 34 BILLION DOLLARS (U.S.) AGAIN THE NAME
WILL CHANGE TO LUCENT/ALCATELL AND THE PROMISES ARE GONE.
I HAVE LIVED UP TO MY END OF DEAL, BY WORKING QUITE WELL AND QUITE
HARD FOR MY ENTIRE CAREER. I KNOW I HAVE BEEN COMPENSATED FOR THIS AND THE
COMPANY HAS MADE A PROFIT FROM MY TOIL BUT NOW I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS
CONGLOMERATE LIVE UP TO THEIR END AND PAY FOR THE BENEFITS PROMISED BY SO
MANY FOR SO LONG
I HOPE THAT YOU CAN HELP BRING THIS CONTINUING PROBLEM TO LIGHT
AND HELP IN CORRECTING A WRONG THAT HAS BEEN PERPETRATED ON ALL OF LUCENT'S
EMPLOYEES, BOTH PRESENT AND PAST.
THANKS IN ADVANCE,
JAMES K. BATTLE
retired AT&T Supervisor in 1986, I have seen the benefit decrease at
alarming rate. We use to get reimbursed for Medicare payment and dental and
eye coverage. They are all gone now and biting into our retirement
considerably. My co payment for most drugs now is 25 dollars and with the
wife and I we use 12 drugs daily and out of the pocket at least 200 monthly
now plus doctors and hospitals at our age is unreal, Thanks to my daughter
being a nurse we can get some help from her now. I now have enough
deductions so as not to be hurt by the Federal Income Tax, I have seen one
raise in the retirement in 21 years so my fixed income is about 1988
Standard. Inflation is bout the worse thing that we experience.
recourse will be well received. Thank you
Robert T McClumpha
Roseville Ca. 95747
My premiums for two people (not Medicare eligible) are
going up 25% and will, beginning in January, take 47.7% of my pension
payment. Although this increase will certainly impact discretionary
spending in my household,
thankfully, I am personally in a position that I can, if necessary, absorb
this increase. However, if changes of this magnitude continue in future
years, that situation is likely to change. Furthermore, I concur with the
LRO sentiments expressed in the letter with respect to information sharing,
Lucent's ethical, if not legal obligations to its retirees, lack of
flexibility and timely availability of information, especially where premium
increases may cause many of us to need to explore other health insurance
alternatives. Surely, as the retired community ages, and presumably shrinks
as a result of older retirees passing away, some of these rising costs
should be able to be absorbed within the plan!