Genesee Co. retirees to lose healthcare on June 1
GENESEE CO., Mich. (WNEM) - In a coverage cut-off, Genesee County retirees could lose their healthcare in a matter of months if a new healthcare provider is not found. This came after Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Michigan notified Genesee County in December that their service would end.
TV5′s James Felton explained why this happened and what’s being done to find Genesee County retirees health care after June 1.
As stated in a press release, Genesee County was notified by BCBS that they would no longer provide service for Genesee County retirees effective June 1.
Genesee County will meet with its union partners to discuss possible options for those retirees that do not have health insurance that mirrors their active employees. Those discussions will continue for several weeks.
Genesee County plans to communicate directly with its retirees regarding steps being taken to ensure continued retiree health insurance coverage and has no further comment.
Meanwhile, BCBS of Michigan said they were notified by Genesee County that they planned to move active employees to competitor health plans on June 1. Blue Cross policy does not permit retiree-only contract enrollment, so retirees will not be insured with BCBS after May 31.
BCBS went on to wish Genesee County employees and retirees well under the county’s new arrangement.
TV5 received a letter to county retirees from Genesee County on Jan. 10 regarding this issue.
The letter stated, in part, that this was a decision made by BCBS and that it is believed the decision could be related to the healthcare coalition’s decision to change active union employees to a self-insured plan.
The healthcare coalition is comprised of representatives from each union, formed to bargain for active union healthcare insurance. The board of commissioners accepted the healthcare coalition’s recommendations.
No matter the reason, the end result is as of Monday, Jan. 23, unless something changes, Genesee County retirees will lose their health insurance in 129 days.
Genesee County said they will work with its union partners to discuss new health insurance and work towards a timely conversion for retirees.
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