A writer must “know and have an ever-present consciousness that this world is a world of fools and rogues… tormented with envy, consumed with vanity; selfish, false, cruel, cursed with illusions… He should free himself of all doctrines, theories, etiquettes, politics…” —Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?). “The nobility of the writer's occupation lies in resisting oppression, thus in accepting isolation” —Albert Camus (1913-1960). “What are you gonna do” —Bertha Brown (1895-1987).
Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) in the News (from Will Lovett of IEA and the CMS Committee)
document is intended to help answer questions with regard to the recent news
that the State of Illinois plans to implement a Medicare Advantage Plan for
Medicare-eligible TRIP participants.
it is the incorporation of Medicare into the retired state employees’ and
retired teachers’ health insurance plans. The state becomes the sole
administrator of what were previously two health insurance providers (Medicare
will be implementing a Medicare Advantage Plan for Medicare-eligible State
Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and State Universities Retirement System
(SURS) participants pursuant to the recently settled AFSCME state employment
contract. Since the state also administers TRIP, along with the health
insurance benefits of SERS and SURS retirees, it believes that by shifting to
this type of plan for all retirees that it can provide the same level of health
care services while reducing costs through:
the quality of health care provided more proactive health care delivery.
important to know that the AFSCME contract requires that the Medicare Advantage
plans offered to retirees must be comparable in access, benefits and plan
design to the health care coverage that the state’s Medicare-eligible retirees
had prior to the transition to Medicare Advantage.
Advantage plans are becoming more widely utilized as they steadily improve
consumer services. Nearly one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries have chosen
to participate in Medicare Advantage plans. Several states are now utilizing
Medicare Advantage plans to provide health care benefits to public sector
this mean for you?
Advantage plan will take the place of BOTH your Medicare and your TRIP
supplemental health insurance. The Medicare Advantage plan will cover Medical
Parts A (Hospital Insurance), B (Medical Insurance) and D (Prescription Drugs).
Advantage plans cover all emergency and urgent care claims. Hospice care is the
only coverage that will continue to be provided to retirees under “original
65 or older who are not eligible for Medicare will not be eligible to
participate in a Medicare Advantage plan, but will be eligible for coverage in
TRIP. [Click on link below]
When will I
know more details about the state’s Medicare Advantage plan?
Department of Central Management Services (CMS) has issued a Request for
Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from health insurance firms that offer Medicare
Advantage plans. More details should be forthcoming by October.
State of Illinois is known to delay medical payments to medical providers, retirees
will not be forced to pay up front the full cost for health care under Medicare
be an option to have a supplemental “Medigap” plan rather than participate in
The RFP that
was issued by CMS allows insurers to submit bids to cover both Medicare
Advantage and Medicare Supplement Plans (“Medigap”). It is uncertain as to
whether the Medigap plans will be able to fit within the state’s cost
parameters and be offered.
If a Medigap
plan is offered, members are encouraged to weigh the coverage and cost options
of that plan versus the coverage and costs of the Medicare Advantage plan.
I expect on Jan. 1, 2014?
Jan. 1, depending on the outcome of the RFP bidding process, retirees should
have the opportunity to choose between a Medicare Advantage plan comparable
either to the Teachers’ Choice Health Plan (PPO) or the Managed Care Plan
plans are also offered, retirees will be able to choose a Medigap plan as an
alternative to Medicare Advantage.
The IEA and
other stakeholder groups will continue to monitor this process and inform
members as additional data becomes available.
are approximately 600 TRS retirees (not eligible for Medicare) paying more for
health insurance than anyone else? Click Here.