Subsidy changes will be in effect for retirees next year
By Heather Drago, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
Sept. 18, 2018 – OPERS’ health care open enrollment season kicks off on Oct. 15. With open enrollment materials hitting the mail at the end of the month, here’s what you should expect to read:
Subsidy changes for Medicare-eligible and pre-Medicare plan participants
- OPERS will not extend the annual $300 deposit for Medicare-eligible retirees into 2019. The subsidy was provided for three years (2016-2018) to help offset out-of-pocket costs due to the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap.
- Pre-Medicare participants will receive a $49 premium reduction to help offset costs, $25 less than in previous years.
OPERS pre-Medicare plan participants
- While OPERS continues to pay the majority of the cost for coverage, pre-Medicare plan participants will pay more for monthly premiums.
- An increase in medical claim costs, prescription drug use and price resulted in the premium increases for 2019. Changes to deductibles, co-insurance, copays and out-of-pocket maximums helped offset some of this premium change.
- Spouses under age 65 can enroll in the OPERS Retiree Health Plan administered by Medical Mutual as long as the retiree is enrolled or receiving a Health Reimbursement Arrangement allowance. Pre-Medicare spouses must pay the full monthly premium of $1,305.95.
- Enrolling, making changes or canceling coverage? Fill out the Health Care form included in your open enrollment packet, or call OPERS between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. If you choose to discontinue coverage, you may do so over the phone.
- No changes? No problem. No action is needed by you, as your current plan will automatically continue in 2019.
OPERS Medicare Connector plan participants
If you are enrolled in a plan through the Connector, review your current medical and prescription drug plan to see if it still meets your needs for the upcoming year. Additionally, spouses will continue to have access to health care plans through Via Benefits and will remain enrolled in their selected plan unless coverage is cancelled.
- If there are changes to your current plans, your insurance carriers will notify you. Look for adjustments in plan design, premium cost and the prescription drug list.
- If you decide to keep your current plan, you do not need to re-enroll. Your current plan(s) will automatically continue in 2019.
- If you’d like to explore new coverage options, call Via Benefits at 1-844-287-9945 between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. Selecting a Medigap plan may require medical underwriting.
You may receive calls and mail from other insurance agents and/or brokers offering medical and prescription drug plans. Remember, to remain eligible for your health reimbursement arrangement allowance, you must enroll in a medical plan through Via Benefits.
The 2019 OPERS health care open enrollment runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.