Monday, March 23, 2015

IBM Medicare "About Your Benefits" Reference Book

A while ago I mentioned a reference book that IBM sent out in the beginning of 2014.  It is called
"About Your Benefits: Post-Employment" and has a subtitle "Summary Plan Description".
A great deal of this book is about plan information for retirees who are under 65.  When IBM stopped providing group insurance to retirees who are Medicare eligible most of the plan description was no longer relevant. 
However, there is important information in this book that is easy to overlook.  There are descriptions of programs that are still available to people over 65:
  • Life Planning Account which describes the benefits for people who retired by 12/31/2003
  • Special Health Assistance Provision (SHAP) for people who retired pre-1997
  • IBM Adoption Assistance Program 
  • IBM Legal information (which describes your rights to appeal claims that you cannot resolve through Towers Watson)
Maybe you did the same thing I did when I first got this book. I tossed it aside and assumed it no longer applied to me.  I subsequently had some trouble with a Life Planning issue and decided to look into the details of the plan by going to  I ended up finding my answers in this book.   
Here is a link to the letter we got with the book and the front cover of the book. .You can find the book in but it's a whole lot easier to peruse the hardcopy version.  If you cannot find your copy ... I suggest you call the IBM Employee Center and get a new one.        


  1. My dad retired in 1985 from IBM. He is now 92. I am his POA/HCP. I have been in the insurance business for 40 years [age 62] and have never experienced such poor service. No one can answer a question. Growing up with an IBM Dad, I always thought they were a great company. Apparently they forgot about making sure their retirees were well taken care of, which the Watson's would have done.

    1. Your dad is lucky. He work for IBM when it highly valued employees and retirees. The Watsons believed we were key contributors to the company's success. It was a great time.