The following is from Marge Sucansky, West Lake Shore Unit/Illinois Retired Teachers Association:
“Wednesday [June 1] I attended the DuPage Unit luncheon where the speakers were Pam Kogler from Central Management Services (CMS) and De De Rayback from United Health Care (UHC). They discussed TRIP and TRAIL. The former is the health insurance from the state for those who are not yet eligible for Medicare A and B. You do not have to do anything if you are on TRIP and not yet eligible for TRAIL yet unless you want to make a change. You can go to the website: www.benefitschoice.il.gov to check out your TRIP options.
“There has been some information in the media indicating that UHC is pulling out of Illinois. This is not true for TRAIL. You are eligible for TRAIL if you are 65 by October 1. If you are not in a state plan now, you will have to write or call CMS to get a benefits booklet for TRAIL. If you are in TRIP now, you will be getting a YELLOW letter in September if you are eligible for TRAIL. If you ignore it, you will be dropped from TRIP in December and will have to get other insurance.
“Enrollment period for TRAIL is October 14-November 15. To stay in TRAIL you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B.
“TRAIL plan booklets will come out the beginning of October and you must be enrolled in Medicare as of September 2016 to be eligible. Also, if you are not residing in the US, you will not receive TRAIL information but will have to go to the website for it.
“CMS is working on its online system. In near future you will be able to make changes on line.
“If your procedure is covered by Medicare, it is covered by UHC. If you have questions, call the number on the back of your TRAIL card. If you do not want to get the home visit calls: At the first call tell person to put you on the do not call list. If you continue to get calls, call customer service and ask to be put on the do not call list. Finally, if those options don't work, go on donotcall.gov. If you have a frustrating situation, call the number on the back of your TRAIL card. Most comments from the DuPage members who have had to call it, were positive about the service.
“Where to Access Information:
“Program Books (open enrollment and handbooks) Links to Carrier Websites: www.benefitschoice.il.gov for Standard Plan TRIP,
www.cms.illinois.gov/thetrail for TRAIL
State of Illinois Group Insurance, Medicare Unit--217-782-7007.
Hope this information is helpful to you.”