Triton College Annuitants Association
Health Issues & Insurance
Click the link below to read the article about transitioning to Medicare, for those approaching 65.
State of Illinois Medicare Advantage Plan.
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.
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
Dear TCAA Members:
Recently, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with
Linda Brookhart, Executive Director of the State Universities Annuitants
Association. We discussed the current College
Insurance Program (CIP) Healthcare plan as well any anticipated changes going
forward in 2016. Unfortunately, any changes requiring benefits and related
costs for 2016 are still pending within the state. The negotiated health insurance benefits are
through AFSCME. Their current contract
ends on June 30, 2015.
Nonetheless, it is vital to understand the current facts
pertaining to the subjects of Healthcare, related Benefits & Costs,
Medicare and Long-Term Care options for TCAA members. Below briefly outlines
CIP members Healthcare options fit
into (3) three different categories:
1. Members who are Medicare eligible at age 65
(those who have earned 40 quarter credits
Enroll for your Medicare benefits within the
allocated period of your 65th birthday, the CIP then is considered
your supplement until end of the current calendar year.
Open Enrollment for the following year commences
October 7th to November 7th for an effective date for
coverage on January 1st. Members have the option to select to enroll
for the CIP Medicare Advantage program or a traditional Medicare supplement or
another Medicare Advantage program.
Currently, the law does not allow for re-entry
into a CIP Health Insurance program after program exit. However, there is a pending Senate Bill #1583
to change this law, it is currently in “placed on 3rd order reading”
in the Senate but it then requires approval in the House. Third reading
in the Senate suggests that it will pass the Senate. However, passing the House could be a hurdle
since last year the bill was shelled - stripped of its content.
2. Members considered “Non” Medicare eligible for SS benefits (less than
40 quarter credits)
Members have the same health coverage as state
employees but must pay for the premium cost.
Individuals missing full quarter credits can
still earn credit during working years.
3. Retired but not age 65
These members have the same health coverage has
state employees but must pay for the premium cost.
Elect for an independent individual healthcare
Healthcare Benefits and Costs:
My conversation with Linda indicates no decision to date
however; the current movement is shifting healthcare benefits from a “Golden
Cadillac” plan coverage which is the current CIP plan, to a “Bronze” designed
plan. Therefore, one might suggest this means that members can anticipate greater
exposure to “Co-Pays” and “Deductibles” as well as participating in higher
premium shared costs.
Overall, Linda mentioned that the “most healthy members are
happy with the current CIP Medicare Advantage program, but not necessarily
those who are sick”. She does not anticipate disclosure for new benefits and
the related costs until well beyond May 31, 2015 perhaps into the fall season. Due to
how the law is written, Medicare Advantage might as to stay as is. A watchful eye will be kept as the
legislative session progresses.
Medicare Supplement Options:
As a CIP member, you may have several healthcare plan
options depending on whether fully vested with full quarter credits with Social
Security. See previous mentioned guideline. The CIP option is similar to
Medicare’s Part C or referred to Medicare Advantage (MA); essentially, a MA
plan can have comparable components of a HMO or PPO design, which is defined by
a set network of providers, co-pays and deductibles. Below is a basic definition of Medicare
Note: co-pays and deductible may apply based
selected healthcare plan
Part A – Hospital and Inpatient care
Skilled Care – 20 to 100 days max dependable
Part B – Doctor and Outpatient care
Monthly premium of $147 in 2015
Part C – Medicare Advantage – Combination of
Part A, B and D – depending on the plan
Part D – Prescription Plan
Member fee for discounted Rx costs
Call me for assistance in understanding your healthcare
options, how they fits with your health
needs, especially turning 65 or determining switching from a CIP plan.
Remember, the CIP current plan DOES NOT allow for a switch back to a CIP
option, once electing a change.
Medicare Supplement plan options and costs are very
competitive – call today for pricing.
Long-Term Care Insurance:
What is LTC – Long-Term
Care? It is the need for help with the most basic activities of daily living
such as eating, bathing or just getting ready for your day. There are
myths regarding LTC, and it best to understand how it works before a sudden
event or a crisis.
Myth # 1 “The government will take care of me”
Medicare is for 65 and older
and is not intended for debilitating disorders that result in the need to for
true long-term care beyond 100 days.
Medicaid care takes away
Medicaid does provide
long-term care benefits, but you may have to spend down your savings and assets
What happens to the
Legacy for loved ones?
Myth #2 “I’m already
LTC is not covered by employer’s Medical or Disability Insurance or
Medical insurance is
designed for acute medical condition that you will recover – broken leg,
Disability insurance is
meant to replace the income you lose when cannot work due to illness or
accident, without anything extra to pay for care needs and typically ends by
age 65 or 67.
Myth #3 “My children will take care of me”
Here you do not have
to worry about a cost, nor do you.
Family network –spend over
Dual working parents-who
gives up their job and income?
What about the grandchildren
Myth #4 LTC Insurance is too expensive.
It can be designed to fit a
Combination -> Insured & Self-funding
Call me to discuss all the various LTC options (traditional and
non-traditional) available in the market place, discount are available too.
In closing, I must stress the importance for TCAA members to aggressively
understand and be vigilant about any possible changes to your existing
healthcare plan; what are the financial ramifications when there is a plan
shifts from a Gold Cadillac plan to Bronze?
Therefore, be aware of the possible healthcare changes in the coming
months, and how the fluctuations affect your future healthcare needs and
Thank you for the time and consideration. Be mindful to develop a plan and reap the benefits.
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”
MEDICARE PART B PREMIUMSThe Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced that Medicare Part B premiums in 2015 will be $104.90, and the Part B deductible will be $147. Part A Deductible is $1,216. Note that Part B premiums are on a sliding scale depending on income.
Individuals who did not pay into social security or have less than 40 credits (formerly known as quarters) may receive Part A and B, but it is more expensive. Speak to your local Social Security Office.
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