2018 Open Enrollment Seminar

The ASURA 2018 Open Enrollment Health Care Seminar held Thursday, October 4, at the Tempe History Museum was well attended.

Julie Lockwood, Program Administrator, Member Services Division, at Arizona State Retirement System informed the group that open enrollment will run from Thursday, November 1 through Friday, November 30, 2018 with coverage beginning January 1, 2019. This is a passive enrollment again which means no action is required unless coverage changes are desired. Click here for the schedule of open enrollment meetings, specific to Medicare eligible and non-Medicare eligible retirees, which are planned for various sites around the state. Representatives of the different insurers will be in attendance to answer specific plan questions. ASRS members are encouraged to review their current coverage, make changes to personal information, etc. by logging into their respective MyASRS account.

Matthew DeLeon, a team member in the Benefits Services Division of the Arizona Department of Administration, informed the group that this is a passive enrollment which means no action is required unless coverage changes are desired. Open enrollment dates run from 8:00 a.m. on October 22 through 5:00 p.m. on November 9, 2018. Plan changes may be made online via yes.az.gov or using the paper forms included with the enrollment guides mailing. Benefit Expos are planned from mid-October through Nov. 9, with an expo specifically targeted for retirees scheduled on October 19. Click here for the schedule of meetings.

Changes in 2019 benefits include:

  • a premium increase,
  • the EPO plan now has a $100/$200 deductible,
  • Delta Dental remains the PPO dental provider at the same rates,
  • medical carriers and coverage plans are staying the same,
  • coverage for the vision and hearing aids benefits remains the same,
  • no impact to the health insurance subsidy from the Arizona State Retirement System, and
  • the only change to pharmacy coverage is a name change from Medicare Generation Rx to Vibrant Rx. Plan participants will receive a new card from Vibrant Rx. Rates remain the same; no change in the co-pay.

Rob Foster, Community Volunteer with the Community Educators Program at AARP Arizona, spoke about the ABCDs 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. Rob 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:

Members are strongly encouraged to peruse these online sites, particularly the Medicare and AARP sites for additional information.

A time for questions and answers followed each presentation.

Submitted by Bev Buddee