October 2019 - 2020 Open Enrollment Seminar

Arizona Historical Society Museum

The ASURA 2020 Open Enrollment Health Care Seminar held Thursday, October 10, at the Arizona Historical Society Museum was well attended. Following is an updated version of the article Bev Buddee wrote for last year's open enrollment seminar.

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.

Jenna Golab, Member Advocate, Member Services Division, at Arizona State Retirement Systeminformed the group that open enrollment will run from Friday, November 1 through Saturday, November 30, 2019 with coverage beginning January 1, 2020.

This year ASRS is offering Medicare eligible retirees 2 plans to choose from: 1) Group Medicare Advantage HMO and 2) Group Medicare Advantage PPO. This is a passive enrollment for this group unless plan changes are desired.

For Non-Medicare eligible retirees, ASRS has consolidated the 6 plans offered to in-state retirees in 2019 down to 2 more focused plan choices for 2020, the Choice Premier and the Choice Value. The Choice Plus PPO option is available for out-of-state retirees only. This is a passive enrollment too, however if a retiree is enrolled in an in-state non-Medicare plan through the end of 2019, and takes no action during the Open Enrollment period, they will either

  • be automatically enrolled in a new non-Medicare plan that the ASRS believes most closely aligns with their existing plan in order to avoid any lapse in coverage for 2020, or
  • they may select a different plan during the Open Enrollment Period by logging into their respective MyASRS account.

Also new this year, ASRS is reconfiguring the rate structure to a more equitable approach in which premiums are directly based on the number of plan participants. Some plans will see a premium decrease while others will see an increase.

There are 4 dental plans from which to choose with no premium change for 2020.

Retirees are encouraged to click here to be directed to the ASRS Open Enrollment web page, view the video that more clearly explains the plan changes for Non-Medicare eligible retirees, and review the open enrollment information, including the schedule of open enrollment meetings, specific to Medicare eligible and Non-Medicare eligible retirees, which are planned for various sites around the state. Open Enrollment booklets will be arriving soon at individual homes. The inside cover of the back page lists helpful telephone numbers and websites. ASRS members are encouraged to review their current coverage, make changes to personal information, etc. by logging into their respective MyASRS account.

Tracie Carruthers, 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 21 through 5:00 p.m. on November 8, 2019. Plan changes may be made online via yes.az.govor using the paper forms included with the enrollment guides mailing. Benefit Expos are planned from mid-October through Nov. 7, with an expo specifically targeted for retirees scheduled on October 16, today, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Arizona Department of Administration, 100 N. 15th Ave, Phoenix.

  • Changes in 2020 benefits include:
  • the EPO plan now has a $200 retiree/$400 family deductible,
  • the PPO plan now has a $1,000 retiree/$2,000 family deductible,
  • the PPO plan now has changes to out-of-pocket maximums
    • In-Network $1,500 retiree/$3,000 family
    • Out-of-Network $7,000 retiree/$14,000 family
  • Delta Dental remains the PPO dental provider at the same rates, Cigna remains DHMO provider,
  • 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
  • pharmacy coverage remains the same.

Submitted by Bev Buddee

ASU Retirees Association
Mailing address: PO Box 873308, Tempe, AZ 85287
Physical address: Community Services Building Room 201, 200 E. Curry, Tempe, AZ
Phone: 480-965-7668