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HEALTHCARE
Choices, Education, Research
October 2013

The Department of Central Management (CMS) is moving forward with its plan to implement the Medicare Advantage healthcare program for state retirees. At the time of this writing, the four insurance plans to be offered and the vendors chosen to provide them have been identified. However, because vendors not chosen have until October 8 to dispute the selections, details of these four plans will not be made public until after that date.

The four healthcare plans and the vendors selected are:

1. Aetna Life Insurance Company - Medicare Advantage HMO.
2. Humana Health Plan - Medicare Advantage HMO.
3. Humana Benefit Plan - Medicare Advantage HMO for the counties of Livingston and Knox.
4. United Healthcare - nationwide Medicare Advantage PPO.

A contract for a Medicare Supplement plan was not awarded by CMS.

Healthcare Choices
CMS is currently planning to send a letter to retirees after October 8 identifying the insurance plans available to them and the requirements for making a choice.

If a retiree/survivor and their dependents are eligible for regular Medicare, then they must change their insurance coverage by making a choice from one of the following:

a) Drop regular Medicare and choose one of the plans offered in the state Medicare Advantage program.
b) Keep regular Medicare and drop out of the state’s healthcare program (referred to as “opting out”). In addition, consider doing something (optional) such as purchasing a private Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) or enrolling in a spouse’s non-state health insurance plan (if/when eligible).

If a retiree/survivor or any of their covered dependents are not eligible for regular Medicare, then they will not be required to change their current healthcare insurance at this time.

CMS Healthcare Education
It is very important that you read all CMS letters and follow their instructions for making your decisions and for providing information to CMS.

CMS is posting information on its website as they make decisions. Check it frequently to obtain the most current information available. Go to www.benefitschoice.il.gov click on ‘State Employee Benefits’ and then click on ‘Group Insurance Benefits and Programs’.

CMS will host healthcare seminars throughout the state. Staff from CMS will provide information and answer questions. Representatives from the insurance providers awarded contracts for the state retiree healthcare program are expected to be at the fairs to answer questions.

CMS and the vendors will send multiple mailings to retirees. These letters are expected to include information about the four Medicare Advantage plans, the dates and locations of the healthcare seminars, the required procedure for choosing the healthcare you wish to use, and the required schedule for submitting the forms.

Healthcare Research
Please refer to the September 2013 issue of The Reporter for information provided under the heading – “Begin Your Research Now”. Also available on the RSEA website www.rsea4u.org.