Connecticut Teachers Retirement Board Offers Anthem Medicare Advantage Option
Jun 22, 2018State & Federal / Medicare
Effective July 1, 2018, Anthem will be a Medicare Advantage plan option for Connecticut Teachers Retirement Board . We will provide medical benefits for TRB retirees through our Local Preferred Provider Organization product. The MA plan offers the same hospital and medical benefits that Medicare covers. The MA plan also covers additional benefits that Medicare does not such as LiveHealth Online and SilverSneakers.
TRB retirees will have a customized identification card that includes TRBs logo. The prefix on their cards will be ZDX. Providers will follow their normal claim filing procedures for MPI member claims.
About Your Health Insurance In Retirement
Health insurance for retired members of the MTRS is not provided by the MTRS, but, rather, is a local contractual benefit. Most school districts offer continued health insurance to their retirees and either:
- participate in the Retired Municipal Teachers Program or
- offer their own group insurance plan .
How this insurance will be administered depends upon which school system you are retiring from. Since health insurance coverage is a very important issue for you as you consider your retirement, you may want to investigate your options several years prior to your actual retirement.
Costs And Method Of Payment
Since the administration of local health care coverage is negotiated on the local level, costs will vary from town to town. The percentage of the premium that you pay as a retiree may remain the same or even go down. However, we would suggest that you contact your benefits coordinator in order to find out what your costs will be when you retire.
The MTRS will be able to deduct your monthly premium from your retirement allowance. In turn, we forward your premium to your local community on your behalf. If, however, you wish to make the payments yourself, you will be responsible for making arrangements with your local coordinator to ensure that you meet your towns monthly payment dates. By having the MTRB deduct your insurance payment, your insurance will be automatically paid on a monthly basis.
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Districts Participating In The Retired Municipal Teachers Program
For questions about your coverage or premium, contact the Group Insurance Commission at 617-727-2310.
If your school district is not listed in the Retired Municipal Teachers Program , your health care coverage after retirement will be administered by your local employer.
The health insurance options available to you under this plan will vary according to the insurance plans negotiated within your local community. In most cases, your local community will give you the option of an indemnity plan or a choice of an HMO.
An important notice for charter school employees and inactive members: Be aware that school districts have different rules for providing insurance coverage to active members and retired members, and your district may or may not provide you with insurance benefits in retirement. Accordingly, if you are either an employee of a charter school, or you are not employed by a school district, as soon as you start thinking about retiring, investigate your eligibility for retiree health coverage, as your districts rules may affect your retirement decisions.
Three Notes To Recent And Soon
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Cost And Method Of Payment For Medicare
Coverage for Medicare Part A is free to eligible retirees. There is a charge for Medicare Part B. Once you have established coverage with the Medicare program, the MTRS will withhold the monthly premium for your Medigap coverage.
Starting in 2007, the Medicare Part B premium is based on retirees income: In the past, all Medicare-eligible retirees paid the same premium for their Medicare Part B coverage. Starting in 2007, the Medicare Part B premium is higher for retirees whose income exceeds certain limits. The standard Medicare Part B premium in 2007 is $93.50/month. For retirees whose total earnings exceed $80,000 or $160,000 , the Part B premiums increase on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of $161.40/month for those retirees whose income exceeds $200,000 or $400,000 .
Fact Vs Fiction: The Reality Of Retired Teachers Pension And Health Benefits
With the elections behind us and the legislative session ahead, the members of The Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut want to congratulate the newly elected members of the legislature as well as those re-elected. We look forward to continuing our work in 2019 on behalf of 37,000 retired teachers.
One of our main advocacy priorities for the upcoming legislative session is to dispelseveral popular myths about the benefits available to retired teachers.
Our retirement benefits are dependent on legislative decisions and past government promises. Connecticut teachers do not contribute to Social Security however, they do contribute 7 percent of their annual income to the Teachers Retirement Fund and 1.25 percent to their Health Insurance Fund with the belief that these funds will be sustained in their retirement years. In addition, they contribute 1.45 percent for Medicare. Retired teachers who do not have Medicare coverage pay approximately $400 up to $1,200 per person, per month. For health care, retirees monthly premium costs coupled with monies paid from their HIPA fund result in retired teachers paying the bulk of their own insurance coverage.
In response to Connecticuts financial condition, many news reports have focused on the States pension liabilities and the need to change government pensions. Many of these articles confuse the pension contributions of teachers with the pension contributions of state employees.
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Connecticut Teachers Mortgage Assistance
Connecticut Teachers Mortgage Assistance is designed to help teachers buy a home in Connecticut. How does it work? The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority offers:
- An additional 0.125% off already below-market interest rate loans. This benefit helps teachers in subject shortage areas or teachers working in high-needs districts become homeowners in the communities they serve.
- 0.250% off of mortgage rates for teachers of color who are first-time homebuyers or who have not owned a home in the past three school years.
Now is a great time to become a teacher. Teachers are in high demand across Connecticut, and the number of teaching opportunities is projected to grow in the coming years.
Letter: Insurance Presentations Hide Key Information
Connecticut retired teachers who access their health insurance benefits through the Teachers Retirement Board are being offered two UnitedHealthcare plan options for 2022: UnitedHealthcares Advantage Plan and the Senior Supplement with Original Medicare.
During this enrollment period, UHC has been offering both in-person and virtual information sessions. The sessions should offer unbiased details of both plans however, the presentations thus far have been heavily slanted toward the Advantage plan. The network on the Advantage plan is downplayed and prior authorization, a strong payment control mechanism, is not mentioned unless an attendee inquires. Additionally, the complimentary tote bag provided to attendees contains only Advantage plan materials. Supplement materials have been provided only upon request to those who think to ask.
No surprise that the less expensive Advantage plan is being heavily promoted for 2022. However, the Supplements cost is the one element that has been emphasized repeatedly without any explanation of the actual cost breakdown for medical, prescription drug, vision and hearing provided for in both plans. UnitedHealthcare could realize large profits from the heavily managed Advantage plan while raising premiums for those who choose the Supplement.
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If You Have Retiree Health Benefits
If you have retiree coverage and want to buy a Marketplace plan instead, you can. But:
You cant get premium tax credits and other savings based on your income. This is true only if youre actually enrolled in retiree coverage. If youre eligible for but not enrolled in retiree coverage, you may qualify for premium tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs based on your household size and income.
If you voluntarily drop your retiree coverage, you wont qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a new Marketplace plan. You wont be able to enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace until the next Open Enrollment period.
How Much Job Security Will I Have As A Teacher
Now is a great time to become a teacher. Teachers are in high demand across Connecticut, and the number of teaching opportunities is projected to grow in the coming years.
Youll have extra job security if you get licensed in a hard-to-fill subject area. In Connecticut, hard-to-fill areas include:
- Bilingual education
- Math and science
- Special education
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Local Plan Coverage Of A Retired Teachers Spouse After The Retirees Death
Note: When thinking about coverage, you should always consider the needs of your spouse and/or dependent children in the event that you should predecease them.
When it is time to enroll for coverage with your local community, you should ask your benefits coordinator several questions about the coverage of your spouse. Specifically, you should determine your local communitys policy regarding the coverage of your spouse in the event that you predecease him or her. Questions you should ask your local benefits coordinator include:
- Can I enroll my spouse at the time that I enroll myself?
- If I do not enroll my spouse now, can I enroll him or her at some point in the future?
- Does my retirement option have any bearing on the eligibility of my spouse to enroll in health care insurance?
- If I predecease my spouse and he or she is covered at the time of my death, can he or she continue coverage as a survivor?
- If I predecease my spouse and he or she is not enrolled at the time of my death, can he or she enroll as a survivor?
- How much will it cost my spouse for health care coverage?
How To Edit Your Pdf Ct State Teacher Retirement Taxes 1099 R Online
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Retired Teachers Of Connecticut Pension And Health Insurance Crisis
Health Insurance Premium Account Facts
1989 1990 Insurance costs 75% paid by HIPA and 25% paid by State, no cost to retiree
1996 Solvency of Health Plan in trouble
2000 25% of insurance costs shifted to the retiree
2003 Active teacher contributions to HIPA increased to 1.25% from 1%
2004 Shared contributions of one-third each from State/HIPA/Retiree
2010 11 No one-third contribution from State to HIPA
2012 Full Contribution but used Medicare reimbursements to fund HIPA. State passed a statute allowing State to use Medicare reimbursements toward its promised contributions.
2013-14 States contribution reduced from one-third to one-fourth. Medicare reimbursements used as part of the States contribution, reducing the States contribution to approximately one-eighth. HIPA fund makes up the difference, resulting in no premium increases for retirees, but a significant draw down of HIPA funds
201518 State contribution considerably lower than the promised one-third.
2020 While teachers continue to contribute, according to the Insurance Consultant to the TRB, the Health Care Fund will be insolvent unless the State contributes its full share.
Teachers Retirement System Facts
Information source: Connecticuts Finances, An initiative of the Connecticut Finance Project, ctstatefinance.org
Medicare Savings Programs In Connecticut
Qualified Medicare Beneficiarys programs vary depending on income.
These extra QMB programs include:
- Specified- Low Income Medicare Beneficiary
- Additional Low Income Medicare Beneficiary
All three pay the Part B premium. Those eligible for ALMB must enroll every year as soon as possible because there is only so much funding.
Failure to re-apply could result in a loss of benefits. You must have a low-income to qualify.
The Connecticut State Health Insurance Assistance Program CHOICES can help you with information.
In some instances, benefits begin up to three months before you apply. So, you could be eligible for three months of back payments from premiums.
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If You Retire Before Age 65 Without Health Coverage
If you retire before youre 65 and lose your job-based health plan when you do, you can use the Health Insurance Marketplace® to buy a plan.
Losing health coverage qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can enroll in a health plan even if its outside the annual Open Enrollment Period.
If you want to enroll because you lost your job-based coverage, see our Special Enrollment Period page for more information.
When you fill out a Marketplace application, you’ll find out if you qualify for a private plan with premium tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs. This will depend on your income and household size.
Youll also find out if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through the Medicaid program in your state.
Irs Cracks Down On Connecticut Pensions Could Place Heavy Burden On Some State Retirees
The Internal Revenue Service has issued rules that will possibly lower pension payouts for some retired Connecticut state employees, or force others to pay money back to the state retirement system, according to a memorandum from the Office of the State Comptroller.
In some cases, the pensioner may see an increase in their pension payment, including retroactive increases.
Under the new Voluntary Compliance Program, implemented in April of 2020, SERS will have to adjust an unknown number of retiree pension payments.
The new rules will end a long-standing conflict between the IRS and the Connecticut State Employee Retirement System, which was paying pensions well in excess of the $230,000 limit outlined by the federal government.
But to whom the new rules apply will depend on a more complicated formula based on the age of the retiree, when they entered the SERS system, when they retired, how much they were paid during state service and how much they receive from their pension.
The implementation of the corrections that are required under the VCP Approval will place a heavy burden on some SERS members, wrote John W. Herrington, Director of the Retirement Services Division for the Office of the State Comptroller.
The implementation of the corrections that are required under the VCP Approval will place a heavy burden on some SERS members.
John W. Herrington, Director of the Retirement Services Division
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How To Edit Ct State Teacher Retirement Taxes 1099 R On Windows
Windows is the most conventional operating system. However, Windows does not contain any default application that can directly edit template. In this case, you can get CocoDoc’s desktop software for Windows, which can help you to work on documents quickly.
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Medicare Part D In Connecticut
Part D isnt part of Medicare or Medigap.
Youll need to buy a policy during the Initial Enrollment Period to avoid a late penalty.
You can get most plans for an affordable premium, such as $15.
But, the lowest monthly premium isnt always the best value.
You can make Part D changes during the Annual Enrollment Period or if youre eligible for a Special Election Period.
If your Advantage plan includes Part D, you can make changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
Plans change each year, prepare to re-evaluate your policy regularly.
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Retired Teachers Do Your Homework When Choosing A Health Insurance Plan
The open enrollment period for Connecticut retired teachers who access their health insurance benefits through the Teachers Retirement Board began on October 18. For the 2022 calendar year, the TRB has chosen UnitedHealthcare as the sole provider for the two insurance options being offered to retirees: the UnitedHealthcare Advantage Plan and the Senior Supplement Plan which supplements original Medicare.
During this enrollment period, UnitedHealthcare has been offering in-person and virtual information sessions throughout the state. The sessions should offer an unbiased detailed review of both insurance options. However, that has not happened. The presentations thus far have been heavily slanted toward the Advantage plan. Prior authorization, which is a strong payment control mechanism, is not mentioned at all unless people submit questions. Additionally, in the complimentary tote bag given to all participants, only Advantage plan materials have been provided. Supplement plan materials were provided only upon request to those who thought to ask.
It comes as no surprise that the Advantage plan is being heavily promoted for 2022. The higher pricing of the Supplement plan is the one element that has been emphasized repeatedly. There has not been an explanation for the cost disparity between the two plans.
Kathleen R. Hennessey is a retired teacher from Middlefield.