Mar 20, 2008

Important Update from LANL Benefits

IMPORTANT UPDATE
SSP folk should have or should be receiving their HIPAA Certificate of Creditable Coverage soon. This is perfectly normal, although the language on these statements can be confusing (it is "model language" the carriers use, for legal purposes) the important thing to note: this only means your "active" coverage has ended, not that your DWMBP or Retiree Health benefits are canceled. Any questions on these, please call LANL Benefits FIRST - we can check the status of your benefits with any/all carriers and confirm current coverage. Legally, UHC must send this notice - it's not an attempt to drive you crazy, and no need to panic. Despite appearances, this actually means things are "working."

One of the people I spoke with today suggested I post this, here - hope it's helpful.

Thanks,
Greg Close
gsclose@lanl.gov


Thanks Greg!
-Pinky

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation that this is 'normal'- or 'LANS normal' anyway. Funny, I don't remember all these troubles when people- thousands over the years- retired from UC...

Anonymous said...

Greg helped me muster out several years ago. He was excellent then, and is excellent now.

Anonymous said...

This is "normal" no it's not! Why not use the English language to inform us, with all the "real smart" educated people at LANL you would think that they could communicate a bit more clearly....Or maybe this is cover for somthing else?

Anonymous said...

Greg had best watch his back.
Communicating with the blog and helping employees is career-limiting behavior at LANL.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I will be a bit more clear:

Normalcy: yes, it's normal - it's the Law. We answered questions about these letters under UC management also. They have always generated some amount of concern/confusion.

Language: it's "model language." That means it's legally standard language that doesn't get anyone in trouble with the Feds for sending it. Like all "model language" it's not exactly "model" but again, this is not LANL's choice, this is about complying with the law.

Purpose: the HIPAA certificate is meant to provide you with proof of coverage under a group health plan from date x to date y to PROTECT you, the consumer, the member, from pre-exisiting condition clauses if you apply for a new employer's benefit plan, or other group health insurance.

I haven't enough imagination to even construe a plot that sending a HIPAA notice would provide cover for. Seriously! :) Here's an unbiased page with some general info on the cert & it's purpose: http://www.aftrahr.com/76.asp

Greg Close
gsclose@lanl.gov

Pinky and The Brain said...

2:25 PM,
If you hear even a whisper of retaliation against Greg for doing this please tell us about it.
-Pinky

Anonymous said...

I think it is great that Benefits realizes the real venue that people read to keep informed at LANL - it certainly is not "Currents" or the idiodic "Links".

Pinky, LANS should pay you for your services!

Pinky and The Brain said...

That would be WFO for me. I'd have to charge $450k/FTE.

Anonymous said...

Pinky, you are worth every penny!

Anonymous said...

8:49 pm: "Pinky, you are worth every penny!"

Seeing as how that's exactly $0.00Pinky is paid, what are you saying? If I were Pinky I'd be insulted!

Steve said...

I am a recent volunteer for the early separation offer. I have been extremely frustrated at not having prescription coverage since March 1, despite contacting all the recommended points to get this activated. I have suddenly had to pay more than $700 out of pocket for emergency prescriptions. Hewitt, United Health Care, and the other associated providers have left me angry with the buck-passing and delay and lack of actual solutions. With one phone call, however, to LANL Benefits, 667-1806, Cynthia Gray promptly got my issues solved and my prescription coverage activated. Thank you Cynthia, and I hope that it is not seen as "career-limiting behavior"!

Anonymous said...

Wow, a person who gives wonderful support. And he does so with clear language and with great class.

Keep up the good work, Greg! Our top management could probably learn a thing or two from this guy about the art of caring for employees.

Anonymous said...

Mike Anastasio should take his lead from Greg Close and be so candid. Anastasio might even be able to rebuild his lost credibility by being direct and forthcoming.

Anastasio can start by answering this question; why did Deputy Director John Mitchell leave so suddenly?

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, we never did get an honest explanation about Mitchell, Could it be a Security issue? Or could it be a Security issue? All the employees at LANL want to know, what in fact happened, or is he spending time with his family at an unknown location????

Anonymous said...

7:58 pm: "we never did get an honest explanation about Mitchell, Could it be a Security issue?"

From an obviously anonymous poster: Contrary to posts here and elsewhere, there was no security issue with Mitchell. Many meetings of LANL security managers (with NNSA present) resulted in chuckles over this. If there were, it would have been reported through DOE/NNSA, and shortly thereafter, POGO would have posted it, from their source in the DOE Emergency Operations Center that provides them with LANL-related incident information within minutes of it being received.

Anonymous said...

"All the employees at LANL want to know, what in fact happened,"

No, most of us forgot about this non- issue months ago. The only time we remember is when some dumbass brings it up on this blog.

Anonymous said...

3/21/08 11:35 PM,
For a real chuckle, at the next meeting ask why Mitchell could leave but Anastasio can't.

Anonymous said...

Mitchell could leave because he wanted to. Anastasio can't because he doesn't want to (yet, until his 2 year committment is up and he makes all his money). It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

Trouble is, the rumor that John Mitchell was caught taking classified material home is out there.

All Anastasio had to do is issue a statement that John Mitchell didn't do anything wrong. But he didn't. Instead he made an weak and unbelievable statement that Mitchell decided to leave, with no warning and almost no time for a transition, during the critical start-up time, because he suddenly discovered that he had a family.

Nope, sorry, that doesn't cut it.

Given LANS' poor track record, why would anyone think that because it wasn't reported that this incident never happened?

Anonymous said...

"why would anyone think that because it wasn't reported that this incident never happened?"

That is the LANL way. It was going on before LANS. It still goes on today. Until people start landing in jail for doing this, why should they stop?

Anonymous said...

If Mitchell left due to a security issue, it would have been reflected in the award fee determination. Remember the discussions here about the frequent (and loud) disagreements between he and Mike? The smart money still says he left because he and Mike couldn't agree on things - particularly the path forward for the lab, and Mike refused to "be assisted." The departure of the most senior "partner" manager at the lab after only six months should be telling . . . trying to blame it on a security issue is just PR misdirection.

Anonymous said...

To Chuckles: are you Mitchell?

Anonymous said...

I think that the "Mitchell" affair was due to a security breach. Did he or did he not take classified information to his home?

Anonymous said...

Who is this guy who keeps calling everyone with whom he disagrees "Chuckles"? Since this is a fairly uncommon affectation, at least in NM, whoever works with him must recognize his "calling card." Any takers?

Anonymous said...

To 11:35, Why would LANS or NNSA report anything? You must be a new employee, that kind of thing just doesn't happen any more. They will hide and lie until the media or the employees drag the truth out of them. Welcome to the new LAB.

Anonymous said...

Greg and Cynthia kick ass.