Via Benefits reaching out to members

Direct calls will address health care coverage; here’s what to expect

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

Nov. 9, 2023 – It’s open enrollment season, and OPERS wants to make sure eligible retirees get all the help they need when applying for health care coverage in 2024.

In consultation with OPERS, Via Benefits, our health care vendor, has developed an outreach campaign to get in touch with retirees to alert them to information they need to make the right health care choices. The campaign is multifaceted and will be conducted via letters, email and, in some cases, direct calls from Via Benefits.

We understand that many of our members are concerned about fraud during the open enrollment period, especially over the phone. When a representative from Via Benefits calls an OPERS member, the representative will:

  • Identify themselves as calling from Via Benefits Insurance Services
  • State that the call is being recorded
  • Ask for the benefit recipient by his or her full name or have the benefit recipient state the full name for verification. It isn’t sufficient to only state the benefit recipient’s last name.
  • Verify two of the following three pieces of information: phone number, date of birth, and ZIP code

The outreach calls specific to this open enrollment period will explain that OPERS members eligible for Medicare must enroll in individual Medicare medical coverage through Via Benefits to qualify for an OPERS HRA contribution. The Via Benefits representative also will be available to help retirees evaluate their coverage options.

Outside of the open enrollment season, subsequent direct calls will be made to gauge whether members would like to shop for other options in light of their Medigap premium increase. Via Benefits also will reach out to members as they near retirement or age into Medicare.

If you are suspicious about the authenticity of a caller purporting to be from Via Benefits, hang up and call Via Benefits at 1-833-939-1215 (for Pre-Medicare benefit recipients) or 1-844-287-9945 (for Medicare benefit recipents).

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

8 thoughts on “Via Benefits reaching out to members

  • November 9, 2023 at 10:49 pm

    Via Benefits… after four weeks, numerous phone calls, being locked out of my account on their website for four days, I think I have a gap policy… maybe?

  • November 12, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    From Michael Pramik’s post dated Nov 9: “…subsequent direct calls will be made to gauge whether members would like to shop for other options in light of their Medigap premium increase.”

    No kidding…. Indeed, rates for Medigap plans have risen dramatically in the last few years. For example, for May of 2021, my monthly premium for Medigap plan “F” (through United Health Care) was $176.15. As of September 2023 it is now $228.48!! That is an increase of approx 29.7% in just 2.5 years!! When is the last time your WAGES increased by a like amount in that short of a time period? The answer is—NEVER! Now add the part PartB Medicare premium ($164.90) and that is $393.38 a month! And you STILL need a stand-alone PartD prescription drug plan on top of that. Even if the PartD premium is not considered, that is still a whopping $4,720.56/yearly for health care premiums. That is a big “ask” for us Seniors on a fixed income. It’s no wonder that folks are reexamining their coverage(s). A good Medicare Advantage, $0 premium plan is actually looking pretty good to me right now…

  • November 20, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    want to change address: P.O. Box 64
    Maximo, oh 44650

  • November 21, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    The Via Benefits website gave me a message that my current plan will no longer be available next year. However, the plan is listed when I do a search. I called the provider directly (after having no success speaking with Via Benefits) and verified that my plan will indeed still be available. Via Benefits’ message was false and misleading.

    • November 22, 2023 at 10:00 am

      Please contact Via Benefits to confirm that the plan is available through Via Benefits. If you are Medicare eligible and enroll in a Medicare supplement plan directly through the carrier instead of through Via Benefits you will not be eligible to receive the monthly HRA deposit.

  • November 23, 2023 at 11:29 am

    I worked at least twice or two different jobs and want to know what I’m qualified for?

    • November 30, 2023 at 9:26 am


      Give us a call at 800-222-7377.


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