Chair Talk

December 2016

In November state retirees were mailed a Retiree Benefits Bulletin that explained the Prescription Drug Manager change for retirees enrolled in the State’s Health Plan PPO. Retirees should read that bulletin that explains the Prescription Drug Manager change.

A recent letter (dated 11/30/16) from GenerationRx has caused a lot of confusion among our Medicare retirees. The first paragraph of the letter states this letter is to confirm your disenrollment from Medicare GenerationRx effective January 1, 2017. This statement has caused a lot of confusion among retirees because they think they will no longer have prescription drug coverage after the first of the year. The confusion is further exacerbated by the rest of the letter that tells the retiree that they must enroll in another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Medicare-eligible State Retirees are already enrolled in the OptumRx Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. The enrollment in the Optum Rx plan is automatic if the retiree was already enrolled in the State’s Health Plan PPO. The new prescription plan is effective January 1, 2017. Retirees should be receiving a welcome packet and new ID cards from OptumRx in the middle of December. If you do not receive the packet/ID cards prior to December 31, please call OptumRx at 866-635-5941 to assist you.

After talking to Lauri Schmidt (Employee Benefits Director) I learned that this disenrollment letter is required by Medicare rules. I am pretty confident that if Lauri had had any input into the information in the letter it would not have caused this much confusion.

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.