Beware the Unions and HMO’s

I recently got an email from a relative living in New York who informed me that the union at her job has now changed the eligibility after retirement, no doubt to save themselves money while restricting where an individual can live. According to the information I received the particular union will no longer cover medical benefits for those members who choose to live outside of the tri-state area. It use to be you could live in the tri-state area and receive coverage from them but now you must live in the 5 boroughs in order to have them cover most of the benefits.
This means that if you move out of  New York’s five boroughs to try and save money on various bills and you are a member of this union you are screwed because they will no longer cover certain benefits. You would have to get additional insurance ( spend more money ).  So if you work in New York I would strongly advise that you check with your union and HMO prior to moving out of state to save on grocery, gas, rent, etc., etc.
I have no doubt that these tactics are taking place in many other states as the unions and HMO’s conduct their back room tactics to squeeze as much money from their members while cutting back on benefits.
I don’t have a name for the union involved in this case, I can only say the relative works for a hospital in Manhattan. I guess there is some sort of irony in that!
I would strongly recommend that individuals cut back or eliminate those credit cards that have become a curse in these times. They tend to create an erosion of your future money before you even see it. I heard on the news ( CNN ) of an individual who owns a gas station and offer’s discounts on his gas sales if you pay cash. He saves by not having to pay the credit card fee’s and the drivers save with cheaper gas.
As for insurance I say “ Buyer Beware ”. I recall the horror stories I heard when I was young of how there were people who spent years making insurance payments only to find out that the insurance companies found a way to screw policy holders of benefits when the time to pay out arrived. No doubt there are many Katrina survivors who will attest to this in our current times.
I would also beware of the alarming trend that is taking place where the lure of free gas is being used by advertisers to get you to sign on the dotted line. Doing so in these times can be the start of an economic catastrophe. The last thing anyone needs at this right now is to sign away 3 to 5 years or more of future income!
Somehow the old concepts of our forefathers for thrift, economy and restraint seemed to have been chucked out the window in favor of spending money we don’t yet have and thereby making us slaves for years to jobs we hate to begin with! The excuse is always the same, “ If I don’t do it this way I will never have it!”. It seems to me that desire is the demon that needs to be conquered. We have become a society desirous of all things beyond our economic capacities and we pay the price! Our forefathers would be ashamed of us for our lack of economic restraint.
As for the unions, Beware! These are perilous economic times quickly approaching  verbatim comparison with the period after 1929, the Last Great Economic Depression.


Don’t forget to check out my other continuing post:
The Next Great Economic Depression


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