OPERS’ tips help make sure you’re prepared for the new year
By Donna Castiglione, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
Dec. 11, 2018 — OPERS wants to make it easy for you to access information, when you need it, throughout the year. Below is a list of common first-of-the-year topics and what you need to know about each.
Changes in your benefits
Any time there is a change in your monthly benefit amount, we send you a Benefit Change Notice. You’ll likely receive one in January due to changes in health care premiums. It will also be viewable through your OPERS online account, usually a few days prior to the end of the month. If there are changes to the annual IRS tax tables (which affect your withholdings), another Benefit Change Notice will be issued in February.
In mid-December, we will begin mailing 2019 Health Care Premium Receipts to all Medicare retirees with an HRA. They’ll need this receipt to set up recurring reimbursements for the following year. Shortly after this, Via Benefits will begin mailing personalized, recurring reimbursement forms. Put the two mailings together, and file for your reimbursements for 2019.
Changing your tax withholding
Most retirees review their tax withholdings once they file taxes for the previous year. The best way to do this is through your online account, which allows you to see the impact a change will make to your net monthly benefit amount.
OPERS will mail the 2018 1099-R and 1095-B documents by the end of January. If you would like to access them early, log into your OPERS online account. You can usually access them through your online account up to a week before they are mailed. Your 1099-R will not provide your health care deductions for 2018. This information is available by signing in to your OPERS online account and accessing your 2018 OPERS Health Care Premium Receipt.
Changes in Medicare status
If you are currently on our Pre-Medicare plan and qualify early for Medicare, it is very important that you notify OPERS as soon as this occurs, or no later than 30 days after you’ve been notified of coverage. Changes to your plan will need to take place or you could enter an overpayments situation that we would like to avoid.
Changes in Medicare Part A premium
If you are receiving reimbursement for Medicare Part A, you recently received a request from OPERS to certify your 2019 premium amount. We have created a short video that helps explain this process and what proof is acceptable.
If you are currently paying for Medicare Part A, you may see a change in your premium for various reasons such as a reduction due to the end of the penalty period. It is important that you notify us ASAP so we can work with you on what we need to make the adjustment on our end.
We hope this information will be useful as you prepare for 2019 and from all of us in Member Services we wish you a happy holiday season.