2017 Open Enrollment Seminar

Open Enrollment Seminar

Packed House

Jerry Wattersworth

Jerry Watterworth, AARP Medicare Specialist

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The ASURA 2018 Open Enrollment Health Care Seminar, held Thursday, October 26 at the Tempe History Museum was well attended. Jerry Waterworth, Community Volunteer with the Community Educators Program at AARP Arizona, spoke about the ABCD of Medicare. He clearly explained the differences between Original/Traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) and Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare drug coverage (Part D). He explained the need for medigap and drug coverage insurance with Original/Traditional Medicare. Jerry also touched on eligibility, enrollment periods (initial, general, special and open) and assistance available through Medicare Savings Programs and/or low income subsidy. Resources include: Social Security, Medicare, State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Area Agency on Aging, and AARP.

Julie Lockwood, Program Administrator, Member Services Division, at Arizona State Retirement System informed the group that open enrollment ran from Wednesday, November 1 through Thursday, November 30, 2017 with coverage beginning January 1, 2018. This was a passive enrollment again which meant no action was required unless coverage changes were desired. ASRS members were encouraged to review their current coverage, make changes to personal information, etc by logging into their respective MyASRS account.

Elizabeth Schafer, Plan Administrator in the Benefits Services Division of the Arizona Department of Administration, informed the group that action was required to retain insurance coverage in 2018. Open enrollment dates ran from October 30 through 5:00 p.m., November 17, 2017. Changes in 2018 benefits include premium increases and copay increases. The good news is the plan changes include providing preventive care with no copay. This includes routine wellness exams, a wide range of screening tests, immunizations and preventive care medications. Delta Dental remains the PPO dental provider at the same rates and same coverage. Medical carriers and coverage plans are staying the same; coverage for the vision and hearing aids benefits remains the same, and there is no impact to the health insurance subsidy from the Arizona State Retirement System.

A time of questions and answers followed each presentation.

Submitted by Bev Buddee

Photos by Elmer Gooding