Triton College Annuitants Association
Health Issues & Insurance
The Open Enrollment period for the 2017 plan year will be October 14 - November 15,
2016. Informational seminars will be held statewide to give eligible
retirees and survivors an opportunity to learn about the Total Retiree
Advantage Illinois (TRAIL) Program. Topics will include eligibility criteria and an explanation of the benefits provided through the Program. The seminars will continue through Oct. 27. A list of Chicago area seminars is shown below. Representatives
from the Department of Central Management Services (CMS), the Medicare
Advantage plans, and Silver Sneakers will be
present to answer your questions.
order to be eligible for the Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL)
Program, retirees and survivors of the State, CIP and TRIP group
insurance programs must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. In
addition, any covered dependent must also be enrolled in Medicare Parts A
and B in order to be eligible for TRAIL coverage. If either the member
or any dependent on the member’s insurance through the State is not
enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, then all are ineligible for TRAIL
Medicare Advantage plans. Members and dependents of non-Medicare
households must seek benefits under the non-Medicare programs offered by
If you are over 65 and on Medicare, newly eligible members will be required to enroll online during the 2017 TRAIL Open Enrollment period, which runs Oct. 14 - Nov. 15, 2016. If you are currently enrolled in TRAIL, and would like to make a change, you must do so online to change your elections, The web site is: www.MyBenefits.Illinois.gov
If you are currently enrolled in TRAIL, and want to continue with no changes, you don't have to do anything.
The 2017 premiums for the TRAIL Medicare Advantage plans are indicated below:
CIP Medicare Advantage Plan Monthly Rates for 2017Effective Jan. 1, 2017
State of Illinois offers annuitants and survivors under the College
Insurance Program (CIP) a healthcare program called Total Retiree
Advantage Illinois (TRAIL). This program provides eligible members and
their covered dependents comprehensive medical and prescription drug
coverage through Medicare Advantage plans (commonly referred to
as “MAPD” plans). The CIP program also includes vision
coverage through EyeMed, and dental coverage through Delta Dental.
Illinois counties have an HMO and PPO option. Annuitants and survivors
residing outside Illinois may elect the PPO option available nationwide. If you are over sixty-five and have Medicare and choose the Medicare Advantage program the State of Illinois is offering, please remember that you no longer will use the Federal government's Medicare card, but instead use the one from the Medicare Advantage program being offered by the State. You will still pay the Medicare premium each month to the federal government.
Effective September 30, 2016, SURS assistance with the enrollment of all
member, retiree and survivor health insurance coverage will change.
Department of Central Management Services (CMS) has hired a third-party
online vendor, Morneau Shepell, to assist with the administration of the State
Employees Group Insurance Programs. SURS role going forward will be to
communicate retiree and survivor insurance eligibility and
to collect health insurance premiums from SURS pension payments. SURS
will no longer assist with processing health insurance coverage changes for our
Sept. 30, 2016, paper forms will no longer be accessible or accepted for
changes through the State Universities Retirement System.
change will impact all SURS members who are eligible for coverage through the
College Insurance Program and State Employees Group Insurance Program. This
also includes members enrolled in the Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL)
Medicare Advantage plans.
For more information, click here.
Oct. 15 - Dec. 7, 2016. Annual election period. If eligible, you may enroll in Medicare health benefits, advantage programs, or Medigap plan with Prescription Drug coverage, or you can enroll in a stand-alone drug plan.
Jan. 1 - Feb. 14, 2017. Annual disenrollment period. If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can return to original Medicare and can enroll in a stand-alone drug plan. You will no longer be able to switch Medicare Advantage carriers at this time.
Feb. 15 - Oct. 14, 2017. You are not allowed to make changes to your Medicare plan unless special circumstances arise (e.g. you move, you qualify or lose eligibility for Medicaid.)
Click this link to get a detailed explanation of Medicare rates and deductibles for 2017.
Note that how much you pay for Medicare will be different depending whether you have your Medicare premium deducted from your Soc Sec check or whether you pay your premium directly to Medicare. Clicking the link above will take you to an article that explains this in detail.
For more information on the current rates; who the participating insurance companies are; or enrollment; visit www.benefitschoice.il.gov. You can review the benefits Choice Options Book and College Insurance Plan Handbook
Click the link below to read the article about transitioning to Medicare, for those approaching 65.
Click this link for more info on the State's Medicare Advantage Plan, called TRAIL.
Click here for the link to the SUAA blog on the State's Medicare Advantage Program.
Message from Eleonore Weber, Insurance Broker
Hello TCAA members
Where has the time gone? (both
literally and figuratively). I don’t know what is more alarming: the fact that
we lost an hour of sleep or a whole third of 2017 already. Whichever has you
more determined to make a change in your lifestyle is what you should use as
March was National Nutrition
Month and in April, we are start seeing more fresh fruits and vegetables in our
stores and in our gardens. Artichokes, asparagus, honeydew and STRAWBERRIES are
just a few of the early season’s best that are part of a healthy diet. Moreover,
the warmer weather provides more opportunities for outdoor activities like a
brisk walk, a quick run, or a long bike ride.
Whether you are a millennial or
baby boomer, a well-chosen role model or mentor can provide guidance on how to
achieve a healthy and financially smart lifestyle.
In addition, if you or someone
you know has lost more than an hour of sleep caring for a loved one either at
home or in a facility, there are lots of ways to stay physically and mentally
healthy with the help of others. “How to Support a Caregiver” is a must read if
it’s for someone you love or even yourself. Moreover, Life and Long-Term Care
insurance can be a major support for you and your family in the future. A complimentary consultation about
securing your future is available at any time.
Now on the National Healthcare front, the truth is, healthcare
has changed over the last few and is still evolving for individuals and group
health plans; continuous policy premium increases including the co-pays and
deductibles. At times, the minimum cost for healthcare insurance is greater
than most monthly mortgages. And, it is vital to watch for the annual changes
to healthcare plan’s (Medical Providers) networks and their limitations. . . .
Yes, providers are your doctors, treatment centers, diagnostic
testing….drugs and pharmacy retailers. Consequently,
please do not rely on the past
as your bases for the future. In order for you to achieve manageable
health insurance premiums, plan for an increase in shared costs. In addition,
for current updates regarding Healthcare and Medicare policy, it best to
consult your local Federal Congress representative and senator----- however, no
changes for the immediate future (2017).
now, the Affordable Care Act is still in force. The Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
has been operating under the assumption that the ACA and ACA-related
regulations and policies will continue to govern the individual major medical
market in 2018.”
Thank you to the many TCAA members who have called me for
assistances during the past few years, as well as their referrals to their
trusted family members and friends. Remember, if you are frustrated the rising healthcare
costs, we can discuss options to offset co-pays, deductibles for outpatient and
inpatient surgery, rehabilitation skilled care, doctors, medical and hospital
deductibles. Beware, that these valuable
options are only available before a doctor’s diagnose. Please
feel free call!
the short-run, continue to make healthy choices and living . . . all year long.
Eleonore Weber, CLTC
Your Life Security.
Licensed Insurance Broker - Disability, Health, Life and Long-Term Care Insurance
Mobile (312) 952-1706
Web site: www.yourlifesecurity.com
“HELPING PEOPLE SECURE AND PRESERVE THEIR ASSETS AND FUTURE”
2017 Triton College. All Rights Reserved.