Chair Talk

February 2018

In January, BC/BS distributed a letter identifying a processing error in medical vision claims. Apparently VSP was processing/paying a portion of the medical eye exam. The State’s Vision Plan does not allow for that coordination of benefits on medical eye exams. Of course, the letter was somewhat confusing and questions (e-mails/phone calls) were received. I requested that examples of the vision benefits be provided to us. Those examples will be provided at the Executive Board meeting on February 2nd and posted to the SERA website. Arva Overton (BC/BS) will be attending the meeting and will respond to any questions. “If you were impacted by this processing error, you don’t have to pay those claims that were inadvertently processed through your State Vision Plan.”

There have been some changes in the “Benefits for Life” program. Below is an e-mail I received from Employee Benefits on Saturday (2/3/18) outlining some of the changes:

I’d like to inform you of an upcoming change to two of the voluntary benefit TPAs, Mutual of Omaha (MOO) who currently administers the Supplemental Term Life Insurance plan and also ARAG who the Legal plans are offered through. During the 2018 Benefits for Life open enrollment periods held for SERS members the transition from MOO and ARAG to MetLife will occur.  Enrollment in the Supplemental Term Life Insurance and Legal plans is currently closed due to this transition, however SERS members will once again be able to enroll during the upcoming open enrollments.  The Legal plan OE period will be held March 19th – April 6th and the Supplemental Term Life Insurance OE period will be held May 28th – June 22nd.

The transition to MetLife will officially take effect May 1st, 2018.  The MetLife plans offer several benefit enhancements with lower premium payments on most coverage levels. If a member is a current policyholder in Supplemental Term Life Insurance or a Legal plan their coverage will automatically rollover to MetLife. No action is needed to keep their current coverage.  If they would like to increase their current coverage or make other changes, they can do so during the Retiree Supplemental Term Life Insurance or Legal plans open enrollment periods. SERS members will receive information in the mail prior to these enrollment periods beginning as well explaining this.

Please note, retirees that would like to keep their legal plan through ARAG have the option to convert their group policy to an individual policy. Their coverage and premium rates will however be impacted by this conversion. To inquire about converting their legal policy, retirees can call the Benefits for Life Call Center at 888-744-7525.

We’ll be adding this information to our website (, select Voluntary Benefits from the left menu and then Retirees) over the next few weeks but I wanted to give you a heads up now.

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.