General Motors' (GM) decision last month to eliminate retiree health benefits highlights the growing role that outside advisors will play as employers divest themselves of retiree health care obligations. Stepping into the employer's role as health care advisors are companies like Extend Health, which GM hired last month to help retirees purchase health coverage on their own. Extend Health will work with GM retirees beginning in mid-October, when earners announce their prices. GM spokeswoman Michelle Bunker says Extend Health will help clear up common misunderstandings. She says GM has received numerous calls from retirees worried that pre-existing medical conditions won't be covered. Such conditions will be included, she says.
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