Chair Talk

February 2013

Due to weather conditions we had to cancel the February Coordinating Council meeting. We have rescheduled the meeting to Thursday, March 7, 2013. I have asked the same speakers (Employee Benefits and MedImpact) to attend as our guests and give us an update on the implementation of the new Rx Plan.

I was informed last evening that Jerry Hosbach from the Saginaw Chapter has died. He apparently had been quite ill the past few months. There will be a memorial service in the future. Jerry’s wife has asked that anyone wishing to donate may do so to the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saginaw, the animal shelter or a charity of your choice. Jerry had been an active SERA CC member in the past dealing with Senior/retiree issues. Jerry will be missed by all who knew him.

The implementation of the new Rx plan has not been without some glitches. There have been non-Medicare retirees that have not received ID cards. Some prescriptions have not been transferred as they should have. Some prescriptions that had been in a lower tier on the Medco formulary are on a higher tier in the Generation Rx and MedImpact formulary. Formulary changes are to be expected when we change providers. Those formulary changes have happened in the past. I have heard that some retirees have received double orders of prescriptions. I have even heard that the USPS delivered some prescriptions to a retiree in the Upper Peninsula on a Sunday!!!! We are trying to sort through the problems and pass them on to Employee Benefits when we are made aware of the issues.

A problem of 1800 retirees being opted-out of the State’s Part D (EGWP) plan happened because their spouses prescription benefit plan had also went to a Part D plan. Most of those 1800 retirees that were affected have been taken care of by February 1st and are now enrolled in the correct plan.

I have also received some calls from a few retirees about notices from Social Security that because of their total income ($85,000 single or $170,000 couple) they are required by Social Security to pay a “means tested” amount towards the Part D plan. We are also looking into this issue.

Whenever a new vendor implements a contract we usually have some problems. I don’t believe that the problems some retirees are having are any more than we have had in the past.

Editor’s note: Bob Kopasz is Chair of the Michigan SERA Council. He may be reached at P.O. Box 692, Mt. Morris, MI 48458; phone 810/240-8380.