Tuesday, July 9, 2024

SECU Board Has Chosen Alight "To Steer" Current And Future SECU Retirees To The Best New Plan For "Them"...


The real question may become who is "Them" ... the SECU Board, Alight, or the SECU retiree?

😎 Promise to get off this focus on SECU retiree health coverage, but it is important to many very important employees with whom I worked for years. And, those employees don't see it coming, because it has not been "officially" announced. Here's a brief outline of the apparent proposal and timeline: 1) Announce in June, 2024 [missed that one!], 2) some sort of "trust" will be established to off-load future responsibility and liability for SECU retiree healthcare, 3) a for-profit consultant, Alight, will manage and steer SECU retirees into a new healthcare plan, 4) SECU retirees and dependents will be under the new system on January 1, 2025 [in less than 6 months].

😎 1) Is the change the result of some new federal mandate? No, this is purely a change in SECU Board policy. 2) Why is this change being made? Don't know, but it would appear to be to control/cap future health care costs by the SECU Board.  3) What are the details of "the trust", who are the trustees, why is it necessary, are retirees represented? Don't know. No information has been released to retirees. 4) Who is Alight? What is their role? How were they chosen? Don't know. No information has been released. 5) Is there any requirement that this major change be rushed through in 2024? No.

Given the high complexity of modern healthcare coverage and given the group of over 400+ highly dedicated employees and dependents this change will affect, why the rush by the SECU Board? Wouldn't a more measured, informed, fully transparent discussion with retirees be more appropriate with a target date of 2026?

✅ Not familiar with Alight [leadership team], nor has its role in this change been fully defined; but it appears to be a "middleman, broker, consultant" that will be paid by commission to help steer employees into a new plan. Here's one more good reason that waiting until 2026 for implementation might be warranted [you can read the complete FortuneWell article here]:

Excerpts: "The new clampdown, in Center for Medicare Services' 1,327-page final rule for Medicare effective in 2025, states that it aims to “ensure that agent and broker compensation reflect only the legitimate activities required by agents and brokers” selling those plans"

"In addition, the rule says, Medicare middlemen known as third-party marketing organizations won’t be able to offer incentives that “inhibit an agent or broker’s ability to objectively assess and recommend the plan that is best suited to a potential enrollee’s needs.”

"The new rule also says it will stop brokers and agents from receiving “administrative fees” above Medicare’s fixed compensation caps. In most states, that cap has been $611 for new Medicare Advantage signups and $306 for renewals. Part D plans have had lower caps: $100 for initial enrollment and $50 for renewals."

“This won’t really address the issue of pushing people to Medicare Advantage,” says David Lipschutz, associate director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “What I think it will do is restrict or limit people from being steered toward one particular plan because that agent or broker is trying to get a particular bonus or other incentive.”

Employee trust will be critical in such a highly sensitive transition... trust by the SECU staff is the one thing the SECU Board can't afford to lose.


  ... with healthcare patients might be a virtue.