Chair Talk

November 2020

Physician’s Health Plan (PHP) Medicare Advantage

Retirees were notified in the Retiree Benefits Bulletin that Physician’s Health Plan would be offering a Medicare Advantage Plan starting January 1, 2021. PHP then sent out a mailing to Retirees with information about the plan. In that mailing was an opt-out letter that created a lot of confusion with retirees. Cheryl and I were notified by Employee Benefits that the opt-out had created some confusion. Cheryl posted an explanation on the retirees unofficial Facebook page that eased some of the concerns and had responded to emails that she had received. Jackie Russell then sent the explanation to Chapter Presidents and SERA members she had addresses for. Hopefully, concerns retirees had--have been addressed.

Optum Rx 2021 Annual Notice of Changes

Retirees have received the Optum Rx 2021 Notice of Changes (effective Jan. 1, 2021 — December 1, 2021). Medicare rules require that this mailing must be sent.

I received some calls from retirees claiming that this notice changed our prescription drug copays. THERE ARE NO CHANGES TO THE CURRENT COPAYS FOR PRESCRIPTIONS.

Cost-Sharing Waivers MOU’s (July 13 and September 11, 2020)

“Cost-Sharing waivers for primary-care and behavioral health office visits, telehealth medical and behavioral health services, in-office diagnostic laboratory testing and X-ray services, and COVID-19 related treatment under the MOU approved by the commission on July 13, 2020, are extended through December 31, 2020.”

I am wishing that you and your families have a Happy (and safe) Thanksgiving Holiday.

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.