TSS - Tufts Over 65 Retiree Health Insurance Changes for Plan Year beginning January 2018

Tufts Over 65 Retiree Health Insurance Changes for Plan Year beginning January 2018

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First Published  :Thu Aug 17 04:00:12 GMT 2017
Last Modified  :Wed May 09 13:04:56 GMT 2018
Last Published  :Wed May 09 13:04:56 GMT 2018
Summary : 


Primary Information

    Communication was sent out to all Retirees Over age 65 on or around 8/15/2017.
    Tufts Over 65 Retiree Health Insurance

    • What is changing?
    Currently, Tufts University offers you a choice of plans (BCBS Medex Silver Medigap Plan, Fallon Senior Advantage Plan, Harvard Pilgrim Health Medicare Enhance Medigap Plan, Tufts Health Plan Medicare Complement Medigap Plan and Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred Advantage Plan).  Effective January 1, 2018, Tufts University will transition from our current employer-sponsored plans to a range of Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Prescription Drug Plans which will be offered through a private health insurance marketplace called ViaBenefits (previously OneExchange). 
    • Why Is Tufts University Making This Change?  
    The general cost of medical benefits has escalated in recent years.  To ensure that health plans offered to retirees are comprehensive and cost effective, the University has explored a range of options.  After conducting an extensive market review, we have determined that the majority of our Tufts University retirees will save money purchasing a retiree health plan through ViaBenefits.  In addition, retirees will be able to choose health plans among well-known carriers on the ViaBenefits platform with the assistance of experienced Licensed Benefit Advisors.
    • What about my university contribution to retiree health insurance?
    The University currently pays the premium cost for your retiree health insurance directly to the retiree health plan vendor. The process of electing a retiree health plan and making a premium payment will change in the transition to ViaBenefits. Effective January 1, 2018, the University will contribute the amount indicated below to an individual Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) through ViaBenefits once you have enrolled in a health plan through ViaBenefits. This amount has been determined based on the premium for the most comprehensive regional health plan in the ViaBenefits marketplace that is comparable to our current plans. Each year, the University will evaluate if the contribution provided by the University should be adjusted due to changes in carrier premiums offered through ViaBenefits.
    Retiree GroupCurrentNew Effective January 1, 2018
    Monthly Subsidy
    Month Subsidy
    Retiree Monthly SubsidySpouse Monthly Subsidy
    Eligible* Retirees Who Retired by 12/31/1993100%100%100% MA Plan One Cost
    100% MA Plan One Cost
    Fully eligible Employees* as of 12/31/1993$151.03$151.03$70$70
    Not fully eligible Employees* as of 12/31/1993$151.03None$70$0
    Employees Hired After 12/31/1993NoneNone$0$0
    *= Eligibility:  Age plus service equals 75 or greater or Age 60 with five years of service and enrolled in a Tufts University health plan for the 12 months immediately preceding retirement date.
    • What is a Health Reimbursement Arrangement?
    Effective January 1, 2018, you will pay the premium to the carrier of the health plan you choose and then you will be reimbursed from the Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) via ViaBenefits. ViaBenefits representatives will be available to assist you with the reimbursement process. The HRA is an IRS-approved, employer-funded, non-taxable health benefit plan that reimburses you for individual health insurance premiums and eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses. If you choose a health plan that costs less than your annual HRA contribution amount, then you may use the amount placed in your HRA by Tufts University for other IRS Code Section 213(d) allowable medical expenses excluding prescription co-pays but including your Medicare Part B premiums.  The HRA will be funded annually and be available on January 1.  Any HRA amount you do not use in a given calendar year will be rolled over into the next calendar year for your use.  
    • Who can assist me with this transition?
    The University has engaged ViaBenefits to provide you with access to experienced Licensed Benefit Advisors to help you select the best health plan option for you and your eligible Medicare-eligible dependents.  With ViaBenefits, you gain access to a wide variety of Medicare plans regionally and nationally. The benefit advisor will provide:
    • Individualized support to help you make an informed health plan choice for 2018 including explaining plan designs and costs;
    • Advice and decision making support based on your current coverage and future needs; and,
    • Assistance in understanding the Tufts University health reimbursement arrangements and allowable expenses. 
    ViaBenefits will mail you more detailed information during the month of August regarding open enrollment, which will be conducted October 2 – December 29, 2017 for a plan effective date of January 1, 2018.  To schedule an appointment, please contact a ViaBenefits representative by calling 1-844-353-0772 by December 29, 2017. 
    Once you call you will be asked to provide your zip code and last four digits of your social security number.   By providing this information, you will be routed to the benefits advisors assigned to Tufts.  Should you not provide the zip code and last four digits, you may experience additional call transfers until you reach our advisor.
    The service center is open from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.  Information is also available at www.medicare.oneexchange.com/tuftsuniversity . Log on today to create a profile and compare plan benefits in preparation for open enrollment season.
    • Are there any information sessions?
    To assist you in this transition, retirees currently in the post 65 program are invited to attend an information session to learn more about the changes to the Tufts University Retiree Health Plan that are outlined in this letter.  Representatives from ViaBenefits and from Tufts University will be on hand to present detailed information and to answer your questions.  The sessions will be held on the dates and times listed below.  Please call 1-800-429-0314 to RSVP to participate in an informational session.   Please RSVP early as space is limited.   
    Tuesday - September 2610:00 a.m.Crowne Plaza Boston-Woburn
    15 Middlesex Canal Park Dr.
    Woburn, MA 01801
    Tuesday - September 261:30 p.m.Crowne Plaza Boston -Woburn
    15 Middlesex Canal Park Dr.
    Woburn, MA 01801
    Wednesday - September 2710:00 a.m.Holiday Inn Boston-Bunker Hill Area
    30 Washington Street
    Somerville, MA 02143
    Wednesday - September 271:30 p.m.Holiday Inn Boston -Bunker Hill Area
    30 Washington Street
    Somerville, MA 02143

Related Information

    www.medicare.oneexchange.com/tuftsuniversity site to view all of the plan options
    Via Benefits (previously One Exchange) (844-353-0772)
    Information Session RSVP  (
    800-429-0314 )




    Retiree, Health, Insurance, Over 65, One Exchange, Via Benefits