To: Alcatel-Lucent Local Presidents
As many of you have been made aware, Alcatel-Lucent is conducting a Dependent Audit Verification program. The audit was recommended by the Joint Healthcare Committee (JHCC) and has the support of the C&T office. Conducting the audit is very important to help protect healthcare for active and retired employees and their eligible dependents.
Every year, as a member of the Joint Retiree Healthcare Committee (JRHC), I am required to make some very difficult decisions in regard to Retiree healthcare. The JRHC is required to make changes to the Medical and Prescription Plan designs, and/or contributions, to reimburse Alcatel-Lucent for claims paid in excess of the Retiree Medical Caps. Every time a claim is paid for an ineligible dependent, the cost is applied to the Retiree Medical Caps and threatens healthcare coverage for eligible participants of the Plans. And, while the healthcare plans for active employees are not subjected to this annual review, future coverage is threatened when ineligible participants' claims are paid in error. Therefore, the audit serves a very important purpose in holding down healthcare costs.
I know that many are concerned about providing confidential information to the company administering the audit, Budco. The JHCC listened to and discussed presentations from three separate vendors, including Budco. Budco was clearly the best company for the job. Budco has overseen a number of these audits for Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, without losing any personal information. Their security measures were excellent. Taking into account the kind of audits Budco oversees, they cannot afford anything less than a perfect record.
No medical information will be required as a result of the audit, and no disciplinary action will be taken if a dependent is found to be ineligible. The coverage will simply be dropped for that individual on July 1, 2008. We have received questions from some people asking what documentation is required. Included in the Dependent Verification Audit mailing is an Eligibility Worksheet and a Documentation Required Worksheet. These documents help you determine what information is required. If you have additional questions about the dependent eligibility guidelines, verification process, or documents required, you can call the Alcatel-Lucent Dependent Verification Help Line at 1-888-898-1115. The Help Line is available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. There is also a website address for additional information, including answers to frequently asked questions. That web address is www.benefitanswersplus.com under "Dependent Verification".