New material for education events

OPERS to evaluate options for retiree health care plans

By Bobbie O’Neil, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

Sept. 12, 2018 — OPERS will debut new retiree health care education material in October during open enrollment sessions. This material explains the challenges we face for the future, and it will be of interest to all retirees.

The new material comes as the OPERS Board of Trustees begins reviewing the health care plan for pre-Medicare retirees. Throughout this process we’ll ask for input on proposed options, providing those retirees affected an opportunity to participate.

As we continue discussing the future of health care throughout 2019, OPERS will continue to schedule education events to inform you of progress and to receive feedback. An up-to-date schedule of meeting dates and locations can always be found within the Member Education Center at opers.org. Look for the events titled Retiree Health Care Under 65 and Retiree Health Care 65 and Older, and register according to your age.

Our purpose is to keep you informed of options being considered and the progress of this initiative.

  • Can’t help but think this is going to be steps towards eliminating health care for those of us who are pre-Medicare age. Many of us were encouraged to retire in order to keep our pension COLA, which seems to be under attack every couple of years as well.

    I hope you will really listen to our input, and not make cuts based on some possible scenario that has not actually happened with your funding.

    • Sheryl, I think the focus is going to be about continuing “spouse access” to OPERS health care under 65. The Board has only approved to continue it through 2020. In their publications. In 2019 and 2020, they have to make a decision about continuing “spouse access” for 2021 and later.

  • I see that the information seminars for Seniors on Medicare at Columbus Worthington come AFTER the closing date for Open Enrollment in the Columbus area. Not sure how helpful that will be for 2019. Any chance that those could be held sooner

    • Estelle,

      There is an information seminar in Worthington for those over 65 on Oct. 15 at 1:00. This seminar provides retirees with open enrollment and health care funding information, and helps retirees understand how to manage their Health Reimbursement Arrangement.

      Julie, Ohio PERS

  • Any thoughts or consideration of restarting part or all of the monthly support contribution to the health care fund that has been discontinued? If I remember correctly it has been as high as 4% of the employer contribution.

    • We continue to look for ways to strengthen the pension fund. Only by strengthening the pension fund are we able to set aside more money for health care.

      Julie, OPERS

    • Your allowance amount remains the same in 2019. We recommend you review your 2019 medical plan details. Once you have done so and if you decide no changes are necessary, no action is needed. Your plans will automatically carry over into next year.

    • We email members living in the area to alert them of an upcoming seminar. We use the email address in your online account. If you aren’t receiving our emails, you may want to double check the address that is listed in your account.

  • I am a retiree who resides in Florida –where I find the information to review my 2019 medical plan?
    I f my plan remains the same I want to continue with it. However, I believe I should be able to get
    printed information to review the 2019 plan.

  • I am a pre-medicare recipient. Currently I meet the maximum out of pocket yearly. This has a great impact on my family. Raising the maximum out of pocket, co-pays, co-insurance would devastate us. I understand premiums will probably be raised, but hopefully all other aspects of our policy will remain the same.

  • I am a member of OPERS and I am looking at retiring with either:

    a. An effective date of January 1, 2019 (last work date Dec. 31, 2018) or
    b. An effective date of February 1, 2019 (last work date January 1, 2019)

    1. Are there any OPERS changes (i.e. legal, political, administrative, member age or work history requirements, benefit payments, etc.) going into effect soon or being considered by the OPERS board or the state of Ohio that I should be aware of – because it might sway me to pick one choice over the other (out of a and b above)?
    2. Where can I find out more about them?
    3. Where do I go to monitor these potential threats to my retirement plan?

    Any insight from OPERS would be greatly appreciated before I set my date to retire.

    Thank You

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