Update for the 2016 Retiree Open Enrollment
The Annual Open Enrollment Period for non-Medicare eligible
retirees and their dependents begins Wednesday, May 6 and ends Friday, May
22, 2015. Since last year’s Open Enrollment the Human Resources
Department (HRD) has been hard at work re-bidding and negotiating the City’s
health insurance plans in an effort to ensure our benefits program is
affordable and provides the best quality care to retirees.
During Open Enrollment you can change your health insurance
coverage. If you are satisfied with your current plan you do not need
to take any action. If you are considering a change, the Guide to
FY 2016 Open Enrollment is the best source of information to learn about
plan offerings and costs.
Health Insurance Update
During fiscal year (FY) 2015, for the first time in many
years, HRD competitively bid the City’s self-insured medical and prescription
drug programs. The City’s Kaiser program was not part of this year’s bid
process. The goals in competitively bidding these programs were to increase
competition, provide more choices, and expand health related services.
HRD is pleased to report United Healthcare won the bid for one of our medical
programs and we have a new prescription drug provider – Blue Cross Blue
Shield/Caremark (BCBS). Here are some highlights of the City’s
- UHC premiums have not increased even as national
health rates continue to rise. In fact, in FY 2016 retirees in UHC plans will
experience a 3.9% decrease in premium costs.
- Also be on the look-out for new services from
UHC, such as a 24-hour Nurseline and a new mobile app Health4me. These
services are designed to enhance the patient/provider experience, coordinate
care and provide greater accessibility to your healthcare information.
- The BCBS pharmacy program is integrated with
Caremark – the CVS pharmacy provider and allows for both 90-day mail order and
retail refills. Retirees will also be eligible for a 20% discount on CVS
merchandise not already discounted.
HRD has also successfully renewed the City’s contract with
Kaiser Permanente. There will be no plan design changes in FY 2016 and retiree
premium costs will rise by 2.4% - 7.5% since rates are no longer frozen at FY
2014 levels. As we return to the pre-FY 2015 policy of a $260 maximum
contribution for all retirees, Kaiser premium rates are capped at 7.5% in FY
2016 to limit the impact of this change. As a result, the City will pay up to
$279 per month for the Kaiser DHMO plan for the 2016 plan year. The City
contribution for all other plans will remain $260/month.
What do you have to do?
Detailed information about the FY 2016 health plan offerings
and how to enroll are contained in the Guide to FY 2016 Open
Enrollment. As a retiree you are only eligible to change your
health care benefits. If you are satisfied with the health
insurance coverage you currently have, you don’t have to do anything – your
current coverage will be automatically continued. However, you MUST
complete an enrollment form if you want to enroll, change, or terminate your
health insurance coverage, provider, plan or tier. If you elect to enroll or
make changes, you must complete and return the appropriate form(s) to Human
Resources no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 22. All enrollments,
changes, etc. will take effect at the start of the plan year on July 1, 2015.
The new premiums will be deducted from your checking account by electronic fund
transfer (EFT) on July 15, 2015.
HRD urges you to take time to thoroughly review the Guide
to FY 2016 Open Enrollment. The Guide should help you make
well-informed health insurance decisions for you and your eligible
dependents. You may also want to visit Retirees’ Corner,
accessible from HRD’s website (www.alexandriava.gov/hr),
where you will find summary plan documents for Kaiser and United Health Care as
well as enrollment forms for all of the health insurance plan options. If
you need additional information, you may attend one of the 9 Open House
meetings beginning Wednesday, May 6 (see the Guide for a list of times
and locations). Please note that the meeting scheduled on Wednesday, May
11 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Lee Center is specifically for retirees
only. Alternatively, you may contact the HR Benefits staff by calling
703.746.3785 or emailing HumanResources@alexandriava.gov
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE
Current Insurance Information:
My Medicare (Find Medicare and Medicaid Participating Physicians)
Websites of Interest
Health Resources on the Internet
General Health Information Sources
Condition-Specific and Preventive Information
Nutrition, Physical Activity, Smoking Cessation and Safety
This information is not intended as medical advice. Always check with your health care provider regarding your health care, treatment, diagnoses and before beginning an exercise program.
Retiree Health Insurance
The health insurance reimbursement program is available to all eligible City retirees who participate in outside health insurance plans as well as those who participate in City-sponsored health insurance plans. The purpose of the reimbursement program is to help defray the steadily rising cost of health insurance for those retirees who are not participating in a City-sponsored health insurance program. The City reserves the right to amend or terminate any provision of this program.
Retired full-time employees receiving lifetime monthly benefits from a primary City-sponsored retirement plan who were enrolled in a City health insurance plan at the time of retirement are eligible for the program. Retired police officers and firefighters participating in the defined contribution retirement income plan must have at least 20 years of City Service to be eligible. If you have any questions concerning the amount of the monthly reimbursement and how to elect participation please contact the City's Human Resources Department.
301 King St., Room 2500
Alexandria, Va 22314
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