The latest information concerning retiree health care benefits is featured below. Additional information from our health care partner, Alight Retiree Health Solutions (formerly Aon Retiree Health Exchange), can be found at a special website for OP&F members.
In the spring of 2017 the OP&F Board of Trustees made the decision to restructure the retiree health care plan, ending the group-sponsored model that was in place for several years. A new model has been implemented as of Jan. 1, 2019. This model will provide eligible retirees with a fixed stipend earmarked to pay for health care. OP&F, through its partner, Alight, will assist in finding the right plan for each retiree. It is OP&F’s goal that the move to a new health care option will extend available funding for health care to approximately 15 years. Recent projections show that without changes, funding for retiree health care will be depleted in less than 10 years.
A retiree is eligible for the OP&F health care stipend unless they have access to any other group coverage including employer and retirement coverage. The eligibility of spouses and dependent children could increase the stipend amount. If the spouse or dependents have access to any other group coverage including employer or retirement coverage they are not eligible for stipend support from OP&F. Even if an OP&F member or their dependents are not eligible for a stipend, they can use the services of Alight to select and enroll in a plan.
When you submit a Service Retirement Application or a Disability Benefit Application, members must also complete the Health Care Stipend Eligibility form, which is included in your retirement packet. To receive the OP&F health care stipend, new retirees must enroll in eligible health care and/or prescription drug coverage within 60 days of losing access to health care from their employer. If more than 60 days elapse, the member must have a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) to again become eligible for the stipend. An eligible plan can be through Alight, or a qualifying policy through a broker or healthcare.gov.
For OP&F members, a QLE must occur to enroll and to be eligible for a stipend. Other common QLEs include marriage (pre-Medicare only), divorce, at the time of Medicare eligibility, birth or adoption of a child and death.
Once OP&F receives the Health Care Stipend Eligibility form and confirms your eligibility for the stipend, it will take approximately two weeks for Alight (OP&F’s health care partner) to send out information about enrolling in a health care plan and using your stipend to help pay for the plan. OP&F will notify the member if they are not eligible for a stipend.
Medicare Part B Reimbursement
for Health Care
|Retiree + Spouse:||Medicare||Medicare||$239||$107||$346|
|Retiree + Dependent(s):||Medicare||$203||$107||$310|
|Retiree + Spouse + Dependent(s):||Medicare||Either Medicare or Non-Medicare||$525||$107||$632|
|Non-Medicare||Either Medicare or Non-Medicare||$1,074||$0||$1,074|
Once enrolled in an eligible plan, the providers you have selected will contact Alight, who will then create an HRA for the member. Members should be aware that once they enroll with a health care provider, a premium may be required. Reimbursement for this premium through your HRA may not be available for several weeks.
A single HRA will be available to the member, regardless of the stipend amount and number of participants enrolled in a plan. The HRA will be in the member’s name, but all participants may submit claims. The stipend will be prorated based on your month of retirement and an annualized amount will be provided for use during the year. At the end of the year, any amounts not used will be forfeited. However, participants will receive a full annual stipend amount each Jan. 1.
If you experience life changes outside of the open enrollment period you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. However, these qualified life events may be different for Medicare and non-Medicare plan enrollees. Qualifying life events include:
Once the information is received from Alight, members who are not yet eligible for Medicare can create an account with Alight and shop for plans on the eHealth website which is customized for OP&F retirees. As a pre-Medicare participant you will not have a scheduled appointment, however, if you need additional assistance Alight and eHealth will be able to assist you.
OP&F pre-Medicare retirees can either enroll through Alight/eHealth, or find a stipend-eligible policy on their own through a broker or healthcare.gov. To enroll in a plan through Alight and eHealth, OP&F members should follow the path for enrollment from the Alight website and not through eHealth directly. The below information is strictly for modeling purposes.
If you are not yet retired and under age 65, you can see examples of plans and premiums by following these instructions. These are examples only.
Retirees who are 65 years of age or older must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B and provide OP&F with a copy of your Medicare card. This is also necessary for early Medicare recipients. If OP&F determines that you are eligible to receive the stipend, you must enroll in health care plan and/or prescription drug plan through Alight within 60 days of losing access to your employer’s group health care plan. Medicare-eligible members will receive information from Alight to have a scheduled phone appointment with an Alight benefits advisor who can assist you in what plans are available to supplement your Medicare coverage. To contact Alight, please call 1-844-290-3674, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Enrollment in COBRA
At the time of your retirement, non-Medicare participants will probably have the option of continuing on your employer’s health plan for at least 18 months, thanks to a federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Please contact your current employer to learn more about your COBRA options. If you enroll in COBRA, you will be eligible to receive the OP&F stipend while maintaining your COBRA plan until the next OP&F annual Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment period or until the expiration of your COBRA plan, whichever you prefer. However, you must enroll in an Individual or Family ACA accredited major medical qualified health plan through Alight, eHealth or any independent broker within 60-days of your COBRA expiration and be continuously enrolled thereafter to continue to be eligible for OP&F’s stipend.
OP&F will prefund an Alight Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) while you complete enrollment in COBRA. To remain stipend eligible, you must submit a copy of your COBRA acknowledgement letter to OP&F along with the following documents:
OP&F will acknowledge receipt of the form and request any additional documentation that may be required.
Approximately 90-days prior to the expiration of your COBRA plan OP&F will contact you requesting proof of enrollment in an Individual or Family major medical qualified health plan that is ACA compliant and contains the ten essential benefits purchased through eHealth through Alight Retiree Health Solutions, healthcare.gov or any independent broker. The plan you chose must be an ACA accredited plan. To continue to be eligible to receive OP&F’s stipend you must submit proof of the new enrollment to OP&F along with the following documents:
To make the transition from your COBRA plan a smooth one, Alight and eHealth can help you compare plans, get answers and assist in selecting and enrolling. If your COBRA plan is terminated before the 18-month period has elapsed you must provide OP&F with proof of enrollment in an ACA accredited major medical qualified health plan within 60-days of COBRA termination. You must also contact Alight to adjust any auto premium reimbursements you may be receiving. You are responsible for any overpayments.
However, if you enroll in a plan through the insurance marketplace you must submit proof of coverage to OP&F and you will no longer have advocacy through Alight or eHealth with claim problems or other carrier issues.
Disability applicants are encouraged to apply for COBRA coverage through their employer for health care. Once employment ends there may be a gap between when the employer’s health care coverage expires and eligibility to enroll in a plan through OP&F. Obtaining COBRA coverage will prevent a lapse in coverage while a disability application is being considered. COBRA premiums are also a stipend-eligible expense.
To qualify for a stipend from OP&F you must become eligible for the OP&F health care stipend during the next open enrollment period. If you do not become eligible during the next open enrollment period, you will need to remain on COBRA until the contract period ends.
If you have questions regarding this information, please contact an OP&F Customer Service Representative at 1-888-864-8363, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. ET.