Health Exchange Nightmares: How Labor First breaks the mold

Posted:April 29, 2016

In recent years, multi-employer plan sponsors have been burdened by the financial struggle of providing medical and prescription benefits to their retirees. Many have tried to cut costs by decreasing the benefit level or in the worst case scenario cutting retiree benefits entirely.  In the latter situation, retirees who were accustomed to rich benefits and excellent customer service are thrown to the wolves. This situation is becoming all too familiar as more and more Baby Boomers continue to retire and the active member population continues to decrease.

In the ongoing column “Bean Counters: A multipart saga of dealing with the Medicare Part D Rx insurance industry”, Skip Schweitzer gives a firsthand account of how he experienced this exact gradual benefit decline as a Medicare eligible retiree of Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). Skip goes on to explain that when he first retired, his employer provided a funded Medicare Supplement and group Part D Prescription plan to members.  All was well until OPERS made the tough decision to drop retiree health coverage for 2016 due to financial reasons. As an alternative, retirees were directed to an exchange called One Exchange, to review, select, and pay their own plan.  Skip details the issues he had with this model from the get-go.

This article points out why Labor First does things differently in creating Fund solutions and member services.  Labor First recognizes the challenges plan sponsors face including increasing health costs and declining active membership coupled with increasing retirement. Catering specifically to multiemployer and public sector clients and the retiree population, we are experts in our niche.

Our private health exchange is designed for cases exactly like Skip’s and is customized on a per client basis. The Labor First mission is to provide Medicare-eligible members a better retirement experience. Our retiree health exchange platform allows plan sponsors to alleviate financial responsibilities all while continuing to provide the high level of benefits and advocacy that members are accustomed to. We work hand in hand with employers to customize plan designs and are able to build new benefits to mirror the old. We offer retirees several options without overloading them with inefficient choices.

The easy to navigate, member-specific web interface gives retirees direct access to tools and the support necessary to make the correct health plan decision.  If a member is not tech savvy, Retiree Advocates are also available via telephone or face-to-face to provide the same service, void of any hold times or scheduled appointments.  Our model is designed to work specifically for the retirees.

From the implementation of the plan and thereafter, Retiree Advocates are available to answer questions and help with any member issues for the life of the plan. Whether a member calls for a card replacement, a prior authorization, or pricing issue, Labor First understands the high demands and confusion associated with the world of Medicare and is there to help.  If you have further questions about our retiree health exchange options, please contact Labor First at or 1-800-716-0774.


To keep stay current on Skip Schweitzer’s column, please visit Bean Counters: A multipart saga of dealing with the Medicare Part D Rx insurance industry.