GE

In late September, GE announced through a mailing to GE salaried employees and retirees who were salaried employees that future eligibility for its post-65 health benefit plans will end as of January 1, 2015. As a follow-up to those individual communications, we wanted to provide a high-level summary of the changes.

These plans offer coverage supplemental to Medicare, the primary source of health insurance for those over age 65. This supplemental coverage will remain available to retirees and their spouses or same sex domestic partners who are aged 65 and enrolled prior to January 1, 2015. It includes:

  • Two plans that offer coverage for prescription drugs and a portion of the cost of hospital stays.
  • Other post-65 health benefit plans, fully funded by participants, that help cover physician and other hospital expenses.

The announcement does not affect the eligibility of retirees and their spouses or same sex domestic partners currently enrolled in the plans.

GE does not take decisions such as this one lightly. As is the case with other employers, we are taking these actions to remain competitive now and in the future.

These new provisions will not take effect for more than two years. The timing of this announcement is intended to allow affected individuals an opportunity to evaluate and select appropriate coverage. In support of this, during the first quarter of 2013, GE will provide access to information and resources to help active and retired employees with their planning. The resources will include a web-based tool useful for navigating and understanding post-65 medical insurance options.

For questions, please contact HR.RetInquiries@ge.com or the GE Pension Benefit Inquiry Center at 1-800-432-3450, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this change due to the Affordable Care Act?
No. The Company is taking these actions to remain competitive now and into the future, as fewer companies offer such coverage and the cost of health care continues to be a challenge the Company must address.

Did the Board of Directors approve this amendment to the GE Post-65 health care plans?
Yes.

What about coverage for my spouse or same-sex domestic partner (SSDP)?
If you are over 65 and enrolled in the GE post-65 health care plans as of January 1, 2015 and your spouse/SSDP will not attain age 65 as of that date, he or she will still be able to maintain coverage under GE Health Choice until age 65. No coverage will be available after turning 65.

If your spouse/SSDP is age 65 or older on or before January 1, 2015, he or she must be enrolled in the GE post-65 health care plans to maintain coverage under those plans after that date.

I’m currently enrolled in the GE Post-65 health care plans but my wife will not be age 65 as of January 1, 2015 will she lose her pre-65 medical coverage?
No, she will continue to be covered under the pre-65 medical coverage until she turns 65.