Chair Talk

November 2016

New Prescription Provider

Correction: In the October 2016 SERA-Nade, some incorrect information was given regarding the new prescription provider (effective January 1, 2017), OptumRx. Following is an e-mail sent to me from Lauri Schmidt, Director, Employee Benefits Division, Civil Service Commission:

The information released in the SERA-Nade regarding the new State Health Plan PPO Prescription Drug Manager is incorrect. Within the newsletter it states that the mail order is handled by BriovaRx, that is not the case, it will be handled by OptumRx. Additionally, the information listed regarding the specialty drugs is also incorrect. The specialty drug program will be handled by BriovaRx, and Medicare retirees who receive specialty drugs through Diplomat pharmacy do have the option to continue with Diplomat pharmacy, however, they also have the option to move to BriovaRx if they would like. Non-Medicare retirees will need to have their specialty prescription drugs filled through BriovaRx. Retirees will receive an official announcement from the State of Michigan that will be mailed the week of November 12, 2016. The announcement will include the following information:

  • Effective dates
  • Member ID Card Information & Mailing Dates
  • Information Regarding Refills & Prior Authorizations
  • Mail Order
  • Specialty Information
  • Specific Plan Information for Medicare Eligible Retirees & Non-Medicare Retirees
  • Welcome Kit Details & Mailing Dates
  • OptumRx Contact Information
  • OptumRx Website Address

The State of Michigan likes to make these announcements first and we actually have a plan on why we announce when we do. We are announcing around the same time frames that we announced Medimpact. We time it around phone lines and call center coming live.

Bob, again I would like to extend to you our willingness to review your articles prior to you putting it in your newsletter so we get accurate information out to the retirees.

Lauri Schmidt
Employee Benefits Division“

In another week or so, State retirees should start receiving information in the mail about the new provider of the prescription drug plan. Optum Rx has been selected by the State to be the vendor for the prescription drug plan effective January 1, 2017. Employee Benefits Division, Retirement Services, MedImpact, and Optum Rx are currently in the transition process for the drug plan.

Medicare Part D

It’s that time of year when retirees and seniors are inundated with mail from many insurance companies trying to entice them to enroll in their Medicare/Part D drug plans. I would advise State retirees to not enroll in any of those plans even though they may sound irresistible. We, as State retirees, are already in a plan that provides our secondary insurance and Part D drug plan. If a State retiree were to sign up with a different plan and cancel the State’s health plan, it could take six months or longer to return. When I get those offers through the mail, I shred the information that has my name on it and place the rest in recycle/trash.


The SERA Plus program has recruited over 1,000 new members (statewide) this year.

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.