231 Pinetuck Lane Winston-Salem, NC 27104 Phone: 336-765-9765
May 12, 2007
Ms. Patricia F. Russo
Chief Executive Officer
54 rue la Boetie
Paris 75008, France
In the “yellow envelope” healthcare insurance enrollment information for 2007 that retirees received last fall, from Lucent there was the following statement: “We expect that there will be more changes made in 2008 and beyond, as Lucent further evaluates affordability for retiree healthcare. Unfortunately, this means retirees will have to continue to bear more of the rising costs in the future. This is difficult news to share with the people who helped build this company. These changes, simply put, are necessary to ensure the long-term financial health and stability of the company. As we did with the pre-enrollment materials, we are sending this communication well in advance so you can look into 2008 benefits alternatives for you and your family. Lucent will communicate more details early in 2007. We hope this will give you adequate time for planning before changes become effective in January 2008.”
The Lucent Retirees Organization has been receiving a number of inquires as to what is Alcatel-Lucent’s definition of “early in 2007?” Because we are well into the fifth month of the year, retirees want to know when they are going to receive the promised information about 2008 healthcare benefits?
Retirees understand that evaluating and selecting quality and cost-efficient healthcare insurance coverage for themselves and their dependants is a complex process and one that in today’s world typically requires a significant amount of time. Many retirees may be forced to make difficult decisions on healthcare insurance for the first time in their entire lives and they must evaluate the potential risks and costs, and possibly seek assistance from specialists to sort out the complexities of choices and trade-offs. This is true whether the individual is studying any Alcatel-Lucent healthcare insurance plans or alternative plans.
The LRO, as an organization that is directly engaged with our retirees in communications that concern their benefits, is vitally interested in sustaining and securing for them effective benefits programs as well as insuring both timely and useful information about the choices they may be asked to make. We also believe that we can add some value and insight to assist Alcatel-Lucent in this overall process depending on the nature of the information you provide. If there is an opportunity to work with your Human Resources staff, please let me know.
I hope to hear from you soon that the Alcatel-Lucent healthcare plan information will be in the mail to retirees on a timely basis and strongly urge that the specific date of release be not later than June on this year. We also ask that the schedules you propose for action by our retirees provide adequate details and at least four to five months for their effective evaluation and action; e.g., until November of this year to make effective decisions on healthcare insurance and benefit coverage for 2008. Your prompt response on this issue will be greatly appreciated.