OPERS video: Pre-Medicare plan design

Open enrollment for the 2017 Ohio Public Employees Retirement System health care plan begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7.

Personalized cost statements for pre-Medicare retirees will be included with the Open Enrollment Guide, arriving in homes mid-month. Meanwhile, participants can tune in to a video featuring OPERS Senior Health Care Specialist Jason Davis addressing what pre-Medicare retirees should expect this year – from plan design and premium changes to enrollment in the optional vision and dental plans.

This video also can be found on the OPERS YouTube channel.

 

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

43 thoughts on “OPERS video: Pre-Medicare plan design

  • October 6, 2016 at 5:46 pm
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    It is so sad that the State of Ohio, more rightly PERS is not honoring their retirees and those on disability. While I was able to work for 18= years at BGSU we went ten years without an increase in pay so that we could have insurance. And now that I have a disability that keeps me from working you increase my primiums this year 3x’s and going higher next year. Nothing like putting extra presure on those who already are having trouble with income. So what is the alternative for us who do not fit the plan of getting on Medicare? Yeah thought so we are out of luck. Just a shame when we gave you many good years of service.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2016 at 6:11 pm
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    It may get bothersome over the next few years, but I’m lucky to be here and it is what it is. Thank You OPERS.

    Reply
    • October 7, 2016 at 10:16 am
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      Very disappoint, How much my wife’s premium is going to be in 2017, She’s to young to apply for medicare, And I can’t afford the high premiums to keep her covered.

      Reply
      • October 11, 2016 at 8:39 am
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        We hear you. Please refer to your annual Open Enrollment Guide which includes resources for pre-Medicare folks to reference as costs are on the rise. Some of these resources include the Health Care Marketplace, Ohio Department of Insurance Consumer Services, Ohio Department of Aging and Ohio Department of Medicaid to name a few. Also, depending on income level, some may qualify for help from the federal government to pay or a plan via the marketplace. The Ohio Department of Insurance provides a wealth of information on their website, insurance.ohio.gov. Another site that provides coverage and cost comparisons for a variety of carriers is ehealthinsurance.com.

        We hope this helps,

        -Ohio PERS

        Reply
  • October 6, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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    Can you give more information on the comment about retires ending allowance that was mentioned in the video.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • October 11, 2016 at 10:28 am
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      Cathy,

      Included among the changes to the health care plan that we made in 2012 was a new allowance formula. We are now basing the allowance we provide to you toward your coverage on your years of service and the age at which you initiated health care coverage. This new formula results in a lower allowance amount for most retirees.

      In order to lessen the impact of a lower allowance, we set up a three-year transition to the new amount beginning in 2016. So the full effect of the new allowance will be felt in 2018 when that transition is completed.

      That’s part of the reason that you might be seeing a higher premium next year — you are transitioning to a new allowance that will be lower than before.

      –Ohio PERS

      Reply
      • October 11, 2016 at 7:52 pm
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        So the reference to the 2017 premiums ‘not changing much’ does not take into account the higher premiums this year & next due to the lower allowances plan? Sounds like premiums are changing. Just a different excuse for it.

        Reply
        • October 21, 2016 at 11:25 am
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          Mark,

          Yes, a key reason for increased premiums is the switch to a new formula for allowances, which has been happening for a couple of years now.

          –Ohio PERS

          Reply
          • October 21, 2016 at 1:38 pm
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            My premium went up 262% per month in 2017 and I have no spouse. I still can’t understand how that translates into to “not changing much”. Or are you just picking on me?

          • October 26, 2016 at 7:34 am
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            No, not picking on you. As I’m sure you’ve read, unfortunately OPERS isn’t immune to rising health care costs such as costs of treatment and use or services. In addition to the rising health care costs, OPERS is still making adjustments as part of the plan changes that were adopted in 2012 to help preserve the health care fund. The fall edition of the health care news bulletin has more information about the premium increase and resources that you may be able to tap into.

            I hope you find this information helpful,

            -Ohio PERS

  • October 6, 2016 at 7:49 pm
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    I knew something was going on because I’ve been reading the newsletters etc. What I want to know is the cost will get so high that we will not be able to afford health insurance, dental, vision and prescription. I want to know what is going to happen to people like myself that didn’t put the 30 yrs in because of my disability.

    Reply
    • October 31, 2016 at 9:48 am
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      Great question. Most current retirees will transition to a 75 percent allowance as of 1/1/18. This means they would pay 25 percent of the cost of the plan, which currently is $1066 per month. If one were to receive the temporary premium reduction, that is a reduction by $74 per month. After 2018, the allowance would remain at 75 percent.

      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 7, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    Since spousal and dependent coverage is getting so high and ready to disappear, what alternatives are there to get pre-Medicare members reasonable and half way decent health insurance coverage? AARP only offers supplemental health insurance for Medicare eligible members. So far everyone I have called does not offer anything for the pre-Medicare member group that isn’t VERY costly. Any ideas or suggestion? I feel like we are in a forgotten group.
    Ethel Maheu

    Reply
    • October 11, 2016 at 8:27 am
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      Great questions. The annual Open Enrollment Guide includes resources for pre-Medicare folks to reference as costs are on the rise. Some of these resources include the Health Care Marketplace, Ohio Department of Insurance Consumer Services, Ohio Department of Aging and Ohio Department of Medicaid
      to name a few. Also, depending on income level, some may qualify for help from the federal government to pay or a plan via the marketplace. The Ohio Department of Insurance provides a wealth of information on their website, insurance.ohio.gov. Another site that provides coverage and cost comparisons for a variety of carriers is ehealthinsurance.com.

      We hope this helps,

      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
      • October 16, 2016 at 1:27 pm
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        Just tried insurance.ohio.gov and could not find any actually useful information. Naturally, this was after I signed up for a multitude of email updates from the various departments. Whatever they may have should be user-friendly, or at least computer-illiterate-user friendly.

        Reply
  • October 9, 2016 at 9:04 am
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    PERS keeps not sending me my open enrollment packet. They keep forgetting to update my address. How can I make sure they actually my correct address this time? Last year they told me they couldn’t send it out a second time … they were not allowed to???

    Reply
    • October 11, 2016 at 7:53 am
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      Thank you for reaching out. I recommend verifying what address we have on file by calling OPERS. If that address is not current, you will want to follow the appropriate procedure to update your personal information on your online account and elsewhere. A representative will be able to walk you through the process.

      – Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 11:36 am
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    I am over 55 (but under 60) and would like to be on my husband’s OPERS insurance. Last year we received no information pertaining to coverage to me. How do I get back on my husband’s insurance?

    Reply
    • October 11, 2016 at 8:40 am
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      Please give OPERS a call at 1-800-222-7377 to discuss your options.

      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 11:41 am
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    I am over 55 (but under 60) and would like to be on my husband’s OPERS insurance. Last year we received no information pertaining to coverage to me. How do I get back on my husband’s insurance?

    When and where exactly are the Open Enrollment Seminars?

    Reply
    • October 11, 2016 at 7:44 am
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      If your husband hasn’t received his open enrollment materials, they are on their way. Included with the Open Enrollment Guide is a personalized statement that includes cost information for the OPERS Retiree Health Plan, as well as the dental and vision plans. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call OPERS at 1-800-222-7377.

      The list of OPERS seminars is located at opers.org.

      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 5:54 pm
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    Why the videos are not captioned?

    Reply
    • October 11, 2016 at 7:32 am
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      Jim,

      They are captioned. Click the small “CC” icon that’s on the bottom bar of the video screen, fourth one from the right. You should see the captions then.

      –Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 11:25 pm
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    We have moved from Arizona to Washington
    Would the current Insurance I had in 2016 be valid in 2017 even though I’m in a different State?
    Please let me know because I’m not sure what to do

    Reply
    • October 11, 2016 at 7:37 am
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      Thank you for reaching out. Not all plans are offered in every state. You will want to call OneExchange to discuss your options.

      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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    I’m Medicare retiree but my wife has 1 more year before Medicare. If I keep the same insurance through my OPERS 2017, will I need to do anything? Thank you.

    Reply
    • October 19, 2016 at 6:58 am
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      Please call OPERS at 1-800-222-7377 and a Member Services Rep can walk you through what this process looks like.

      Thanks,
      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 12, 2016 at 8:36 pm
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    I retired 2010. I am now 60. Do I need to look into pre-medicare for myself at this time? Just a bit confused here!

    Reply
    • October 19, 2016 at 6:54 am
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      Generally speaking if you are not yet of Medicare age, the OPERS MMO plan is what you would enroll in. You should have received your open enrollment materials already; included with the booklet was a personalized statement with your plan options. If you have not received your OE packet, call OPERS. Also, feel free to call OPERS to discuss your personal situation.

      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 14, 2016 at 9:55 am
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    I retired under opers. My husband under police and fire. Has there been any discussion on all the state retirement systems forming one group to shop for health insutance. It seems this much larger group could get better rates.

    Reply
    • October 24, 2016 at 9:25 am
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      We have worked collaboratively in the past with the other Ohio Retirement systems, OSU and the Ohio DAS – primarily in the prescription drug arena strategizing on cost savings and maximizing group purchasing power. We are always open to discussing opportunities and new ideas with the other systems when it’s appropriate for everyone and each system can benefit.

      thanks,
      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 14, 2016 at 5:09 pm
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    Increasing spousal premiums and eventually not covering spouses has put a very big strain on spouses. It is VERY costly to find adequate alternative coverage. For many years my spouse was planning to retire at age 60..now an impossibility. Not really fair when employed for state 35 years. Very disappointing.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2016 at 7:16 pm
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    Is the 40% “Cadillac Tax” still coming in 2018?

    Reply
    • October 18, 2016 at 10:12 am
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      John,

      As of right now, yes, it’s scheduled to become effective in 2018.

      –Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 23, 2016 at 6:33 am
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    We are very disappointed in the spousal health care disappearing – My husband worked until he was 70- putting in 40 years into OPERS- just so we could survive on retirement- I am only 61 by December and have awhile yet to go on Medicare- our income this past year was so tight because of the price increase of my premium- and now another increase- and it disappearing all together soon- what is a person who was a house wife and did not work supposed to do? We always thought we could count on OPERS and his retirement to take care of us So sad.

    Reply
    • October 26, 2016 at 7:04 am
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      Spousal health care coverage is NOT gone. What you may be referring to is the Medicare spousal HRA which is transitioning to $0 in 2018.

      As a result of the premium increase, we recognize that pre-Medicare spouses may determine that there are more affordable options elsewhere. Please refer to the latest issue of the health care bulletin where there are resources listed to assist with any research you may be doing. If you decide entering the workforce is something that is appealing, check into their health care plan options as well.

      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 24, 2016 at 2:25 pm
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    Looking to retire at age 60, pre medicare. I’ll retire with 22.224 years service. Was a volunteer/ part time firefighter Looking at approximate health care cost. Was told in past, OPERS would pay 51%. How much could that be? I’ve been locked out of my online account, forgot passwords. Called and told to call later, I need to speak to someone or look online. Both is impossible right now. HELP

    Reply
    • October 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm
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      Thank you for reaching out. The system only lets you run an estimate for 2017 at this point in the year. To run an estimate use the retirement planner and do a health care and pension comparison. This is found on opers.org.

      -Ohio PERS

      Reply
  • October 31, 2016 at 8:37 am
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    work over 32 years.and know have to pay for health ins..co-pays .hospital cost, prescription……….rasing my health ,for 2017 not fair ..i turn 62 know you raise medi care to 65 not fair.
    …….

    Reply
    • October 31, 2016 at 9:51 am
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      It’s all designed that way because they hope you don’t live long enough to draw anything. That’s why they keep raising the age…. Ever notice the elected folks never worry about this stuff? That’s because they got their’s and me and you got to worry about getting ours. No one cares…

      Reply
  • November 13, 2016 at 6:15 am
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    What does OPERS plan to do if Trump gets RID of, or severely changes SS/Medicare and Obamacare?

    Reply
    • November 15, 2016 at 7:51 am
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      Alexander,

      There is no way to predict what might or might not happen regarding the leadership change. We will keep close tabs on what occurs.

      –Ohio PERS

      Reply

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