In accordance with Public Act 92-0600, retirees, annuitants and survivors were allowed the option to opt out of the State’s coverage during the annual Benefit Choice Period or upon experiencing a qualifying change in status. Public Act 94-0109, created a financial incentive of $150 for non-Medicare SERS annuitants who elected to opt out of the State’s health plan coverage.
Effective July 1, 2013, Public Act 98-0019 extends the financial incentive to non-Medicare annuitants of all five state retirement systems (SERS, SURS, TRS, JRS and GARS) and increases the amount of the opt-out financial incentive for annuitants with over 20 years of service to $500. Survivors are not eligible for the opt-out incentive. Non-Medicare annuitants include:
- Annuitants under age 65 (no Medicare coverage)
- Annuitants age 65+, ineligible for Medicare free Part A coverage
A letter explaining the opt out option was sent to all eligible retirees who would be 64 years of age or under on January 1, 2014.
Annuitants wishing to opt out and receive the incentive must be currently enrolled in the State’s health plan (or must have elected to opt out during the May 2013 Benefit Choice Period with the opt out effective July 1, 2013) and have proof of other comprehensive medical coverage provided by an entity other than the Department of Central Management Services (CMS). Eligible annuitants have until September 30, 2013, to elect to opt out of the State’s coverage without the necessity of experiencing a qualifying change in status. Eligible annuitants who have less than 20 years of state service will receive $150 per month; those annuitants with 20 or more years of state service will receive $500 per month.
Annuitants interested in opting out and receiving the incentive must complete a financial incentive opt-out application and provide proof of other major medical insurance by an entity other than the CMS. Annuitants electing to opt out cannot be enrolled as a dependent in any other plan administered by CMS (i.e., TRIP, CIP or LGHP). The opt-out with financial incentive application and proof of other coverage must be submitted to the annuitant’s retirement system. Approved financial incentive opt-out applications will become effective the first day of the month following receipt of the application by the retirement system.
Effective with the passage of PA 98-0019, all annuitants enrolled in the opt-out program who are receiving an incentive, regardless of the amount, will be required to submit proof of other coverage on an annual basis. CMS will send additional information regarding this annual submission to impacted annuitants.
Note: Annuitants with 20 or more years of state service who are currently receiving the $150 incentive received a letter from CMS regarding their ability to apply for the increased incentive.