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State Insurance Program - The Trail 


The fall 2014 TRAIL Open Enrollment Period will be October 15, 2014, through November 15, 2014.

The State of Illinois offers annuitants and survivors 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 State of Illinois Group Insurance Program also includes vision coverage and optional dental and life insurance coverage.

As an individual who is enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, also known as Original Medicare, your TRAIL Open Enrollment Period will be held in the fall of each year, instead of during May as in the past. For 2015, the plan year will begin January 1 and will go through December 31, 2015. All newly-eligible annuitants and survivors, as well as those currently enrolled in one of the State's MAPD plans will be mailed a TRAIL Enrollment Kit the second week of October, beginning October 9, 2014.

If you are currently enrolled in one of the TRAIL Medicare Advantage plans, your enrollment will continue – you do not need to do anything unless you want to make a change. If you want to make a change to your current Medicare Advantage health plan election, or change your dental or dependent coverage, complete and return the TRAIL Enrollment Form to your retirement system.

If you are new to the TRAIL Medicare Advantage plans this year, you must select one of the State's Medicare Advantage plans by completing the TRAIL enrollment form and submitting it to your retirement system (address shown on the front of your enrollment form). You will remain enrolled in your current State health plan through December 31, 2014. The Medicare Advantage plan you choose will start January 1, 2015.

Beginning with the 2015 plan year (which starts January 1, 2015), all Illinois counties will have an HMO and PPO option. Annuitants and survivors residing outside Illinois may elect the PPO option available nationwide. Refer to this year's TRAIL Decision Guide for more information. 


  • Attention Retirees and Survivors Newly-Eligible for the State-sponsored Medicare Advantage Plans: UnitedHealthcare mailed a book of plan information entitled, “2015 Plan Guide” to all newly-eligible members as well as all TRAIL members enrolled in a Medicare Advantage HMO plan. The book was part of an envelope of marketing materials sent by UHC on October 2, 2014. On page 59 of the book is a page entitled “Enrollment Instructions”. This page states that the member does not need to complete an Enrollment Request Form. This statement is INCORRECT. State of Illinois group insurance members who are eligible for the State’s Medicare Advantage plans through TRAIL for the first time (most of whom turned age 65 within the past year) DO need to return the State’s Medicare Advantage ‘TRAIL’ enrollment form. Members should look for the TRAIL enrollment form in an enrollment kit being mailed from the Department of Central Management Services October 9, 2014. Members currently enrolled in one of the TRAIL plans who do not wish to change their MAPD plan do not need to complete the enrollment form. 10/08/14
  • The TRAIL Open Enrollment Period will be October 15 through November 15, 2014. Enrollment kits will be mailed October 9th to members eligible for TRAIL Medicare Advantage coverage. Informational seminars will be held state-wide to give eligible members an opportunity to learn more about the plans offered by the State. The 2014 Seminar Schedule provides a list of the dates, times and locations of the seminars. 10/06/14

  • Beginning with the October benefit month, the premium that a Medicare-eligible retiree, annuitant or survivor pays for the Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan will change from 2% of their annuity to 0% of their annuity.  Individuals with less than 20 years of service are responsible for an additional amount which is calculated based upon the cost of the selected coverage.  10/05/14

  • Beginning the week of July 7, 2014, the State of Illinois began sending out a letter to all plan participants who are enrolled in the TRAIL program (the TRAIL program consists of State-sponsored Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug plans: UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Coventry Advantra).  This letter is informational only, and as such, there is no action required.  It explains what could happen if a State of Illinois plan participant enrolls in another Medicare plan.  Enrollment into another Medicare plan means enrollment into a different Medicare Advantage Plan or a different Medicare Part D plan.  The federal government will not allow someone to be in more than one Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D plan at a time; therefore, any subsequent enrollment into one of these types of plans will cause your enrollment in the State-sponsored Medicare Advantage Plan to be terminated.  07/16/14

  • In January 2011, the Affordable Care Act established an income related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) under the Part D program (prescription portion of Medicare) which is known as Part D-IRMAA.  02/21/14

Archived Notices

Updated 10/05/2014