The OPERS Member Services center is expecting a record number of calls this month in part because of the implementation of the OPERS Medicare Connector.
In order to help our members avoid long wait times on the phone, we have compiled answers to the questions most frequently asked at the beginning of a new year and also have provided resources where additional information can be found.
If you still have questions you can call us at 800-222-7377. We will do our best to take your call as promptly as possible, but you should expect longer-than-normal hold times.
Q: Why is my January benefit amount different?
A: There are several reasons that a benefit amount might change in a new year. Most changes in January are because of adjustments in health care allowances.
The health care changes that OPERS approved in 2012 include calculating premium allowances based on age and service. The initial transition to this new allowance begins in 2016. OPERS sent Benefit Change Notices recently to those affected.
Members might see additional changes in February because of new tax tables.
Q: As a participant in the OPERS Medicare Connector, how and when can I receive reimbursement for my January health care premium?
A: Participants in the Connector can use the Health Reimbursement Arrangement to recover medical expenses, including premiums. However, OPERS will not be able to answer questions regarding your individual medical plan or your HRA. Please contact OneExchange for this information at 844-287-9945, or visit the OneExchange/OPERS portal.
Q: When will I receive my benefit payments in 2016?
Benefit payments will be issued on the following dates this year:
- Jan. 4
- Feb. 1
- March 1
- April 1
- April 29
- June 1
- July 1
- Aug. 1
- Sept. 1
- Sept. 30
- Nov. 1
- Dec. 1
Q: When will I receive my Form 1099-R for tax year 2015?
OPERS will mail Form 1099-Rs for tax year 2015 by Jan. 31. Retirees should expect to receive these forms by Feb. 15. If you wish to retrieve this information online, you can do so by logging into your OPERS account after Jan. 22. Once you’re in your online account, click on “Documents.”
Q: What is a Form 1095-B, and will I receive one from OPERS?
The new IRS Form 1095-B will verify that you and your dependents have minimum essential health insurance coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, taxpayers who do not have minimum essential coverage might have to pay a penalty when they file their tax returns. Having a Form 1095-B in hand is proof that you had required coverage.
OPERS will mail this form to qualifying retirees by Jan. 31. Retirees should expect to receive the form by Feb. 15. If you wish to access your 1095-B prior to receiving it in the mail, or need to print additional copies, you can do so by logging into your OPERS online account after Jan. 22. Once you’re in your online account, click on “Documents.”