Member questions answered in health care video

In our latest monthly health care video, OPERS Health Care Director Marianne Steger addresses member questions. The topics focus on the upcoming OPERS Medicare Connector.

You can click here to access the video, which we’ve posted on our YouTube channel.

 

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Public budget cuts can affect pensions: Study

Some states and cities have been slow to recover from the Great Recession. As a result, they’ve cut budgets and sometimes public-sector jobs. That can negatively impact multiple-employer pensions.

Research released recently by the Economic Policy Institute tracks the change in state and local government employment from December 2007 to June of this year. The institute reports that since the beginning of the recession 28 states and the District of Columbia have added state and local government jobs, while 21 states have reduced their public employment workforce.

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Timing of benefit payments can rely on paperwork

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System periodically receives calls from members wondering when they’ll receive their first pension benefit, and when the next one is coming.

Here’s how the process works.

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OPERS offers several ways to contact us

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System maintains a fully staffed Member Services Department that fields hundreds of thousands of calls each year.

OPERS members reach out to us for help on dozens of issues including benefit payments, retirement status and health care eligibility. Our representatives and counselors are available at our headquarters in Columbus, over the phone and via email.

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OPERS certifies candidates for board election

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has certified six people to run for three positions on the OPERS Board of Trustees in this year’s election.

Incumbent Municipal Employee representative Ken Thomas was unopposed following the deadline for candidates to submit nominating petitions. He will take office for a new term beginning on Jan. 1.

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OPERS explains health care changes

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has updated its education tools to help retirees plan for upcoming health care changes.

A new video explaining the OPERS Medicare Connector is now available online.

To help retirees plan for the Connector which starts in 2016, OPERS Health Care Director Marianne Steger is conducting seminars around Ohio. The new video features Steger’s presentation explaining the Connector model.

In addition, OPERS retirees will soon receive either an e-mail with a direct link to the video or a DVD containing Ms. Steger’s presentation. The 33-minute presentation can also be accessed through the OPERS home page at www.opers.org and OPERS’ YouTube Channel. You can access the video directly by clicking here.

Retirees who are eligible for Medicare Parts A & B will use the Connector to select a plan that will supplement traditional Medicare. As the video demonstrates, the Connector gives OPERS retirees affordable health care choices.

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Public pensions create economic vitality

Contributions to public pension systems in Ohio and throughout the United States have a positive impact on the economy, the National Institute on Retirement Security said in a report.

In “Pensionomics 2014,” NIRS found that state and local pensions support 6.2 million jobs and $943 billion in economic activity nationwide. This is stable revenue that states and municipalities can count on year after year.

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OPERS to hold Connector meetings around Ohio

Our members have sent us lots of questions about the 2016 OPERS Medicare Connector, and we’d like to provide the answers.

Beginning next week, OPERS Health Care Director Marianne Steger will conduct a series of seminars around Ohio targeted to this new feature of our health care plan. Retirees of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System who are eligible for Medicare Parts A & B will use the Connector to select a plan that will supplement traditional Medicare.

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Qualifying members have earned QEBA checks

In rare cases, members of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System contribute more to their pensions than the IRS permits to be considered in determining pension benefits. In these situations, the IRS and the state of Ohio permit the creation of Qualified Excess Benefits Arrangements (QEBA) to distribute the difference.

A recent letter printed in The Columbus Dispatch focused on the QEBA. We’d like to explain how these arrangements work.

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Medicare Connector to lower health care costs

As the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System prepares to transition eligible members to a Medicare Connector model in 2016, a closer look at the projected participant costs illustrates advantages of the new plan.

By transitioning to the Connector, we are presenting participants increased flexibility and an opportunity to save money while keeping the same level of, or better, health care coverage.

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