Back in the Market for Health Insurance Plans? Five Tips for General Motors Retirees and Others

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As thousands of GM retirees learn that their former employer will no longer offer health insurance benefits, they are evaluating their options. Longevity Alliance is already helping thousands save money and meet their unique health care insurance needs through tips and resources designed specifically for them on its web site.

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The key to saving time, money and effort is to understand the current situation and make a plan that addresses it. In the best case scenarios, people use these setbacks as opportunities to take a larger look at their retirement finances and make positive changes.

When General Motors announced last week that it would cut health care plans for salaried employees, thousands of retirees were forced to re-consider their prospects for getting affordable and reliable health care from their former employer.

Longevity Alliance has created a new page on its web site with resources and tips specifically with GM retirees in mind at http://www.laihealth.com/gm.

Probably millions more - pre-retirees and retirees alike - began to fear that the same kind of cost-cutting measures could impact their long term plans for health insurance and have started thinking about what they would do if it happened to them.

While shopping for a new health insurance plan or similar benefit program can take time and effort, Longevity Alliance president Steve Zaleznick recommends the following five tips for GM retirees and others:

1.    Know all the facts about the change. Understanding exactly what benefits will be affected - and how - can help you zero in on the products you'll need.

2.    Understand your options. There are big differences between major retiree health plans, like Medicare Advantage, traditional Medicare, Medicare supplement plans and Medicare prescription plans. Knowing which plan - or combination of plans - is a fit for you could save thousands every year and better meet your specific needs.

3.    Know all the deadlines. Understanding when programs will expire can help you build a timeline for starting new ones.

4.    Take your time. Programs rarely expire overnight and giving yourself time to explore all the options can help build long-term confidence in your plan.

5.    Get multiple quotes. Shopping around for different insurance and financial plans can also boost your confidence that you've made the right decision.

"Getting news that your employer won't take care of your health benefits can be an enormous blow to a retiree or someone planning retirement," said Zaleznick. "The key to saving time, money and effort is to understand the current situation and make a plan that addresses it. In the best case scenarios, people use these setbacks as opportunities to take a larger look at their retirement finances and make positive changes."

About Longevity Alliance
Based in Washington, DC, and with a customer contact center in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Longevity Alliance Inc. helps older Americans find the right products to meet their needs by surveying the marketplace and contracting with high quality financial and insurance companies to provide consumers with a range of choices in each product category. Longevity Alliance is staffed with experienced senior executives in aging, insurance and financial services who have spent decades working for the biggest names in products and services for older Americans. The company also publishes Momentum¸ a monthly newsletter for older Americans. Consumers can sign up for a free online copy at http://www.momentumtoday.com. For more information, visit http://www.longevityalliance.com.

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BRENDON SHANK
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