A message from PEF Retirees President Jim Carr
Expect some new wrinkles in your retiree’s health insurance and Medicare in 2013
You can expect a few changes to your retiree’s health care benefits in 2013.
If you have and want to keep both Medicare and the Empire Plan, do NOT fill out and do not return the cancellation form that was sent to you earlier this year.
If you complete and submit the cancellation form, you will lose, effective January 1, any and all Empire Plan coverage for you and any covered dependents.
It is extremely important to read very carefully all of the correspondence and attachments you receive from the NYS Department of Civil Service.
For example, effective January 1, Empire Plan Medicare Rx will replace the current Empire Plan Prescription Plan Drug Program coverage for Medicare-primary enrollees and dependents.
The new Empire Plan Medicare Rx will have the same co-pays and the same pharmacy network you currently have. You will have a separate Empire Plan Medicare card, plus a new Empire Plan card effective January 1.
The new Medicare plan is expected to save the NYS Department of Civil Service (DCS) $160 million in 2013 and the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or Obamacare) requires that any savings be used to reduce premiums.
The PPACA includes several benefit enhancements for Medicare enrollees. One enhancement requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to discount prices of brand-name prescription drugs by 50 percent for enrollees in the “doughnut hole.”
As you may know, Empire Plan enrollees are not affected by the Medicare prescription-drug doughnut hole. However, all prescription plans that cover Medicare enrollees, including the Empire Plan, will benefit from the discounted prices. These savings will benefit both the state and the enrollees.
If you have questions about these changes, call DCS at: 877-769-7447 and press 4 on the main menu. You may also view information about Empire Plan Medicare Rx at www.cs.ny.gov. Select “Retirees,” then “Health Benefits,” and then choose “Current Topics.
Retiring? Join PEF Retirees now!
Membership equals benefits.
Contact PEF Retirees at 800-342-4306, x289 or PEFRetirees@pef.org
The Communicator Letters policy
We welcome letters to the editor about union issues and events relevant to PEF's diverse membership. All letters are subject to editing for space, fairness and good taste.
Please keep them brief (up to one page, double-spaced or a maximum of 250 words), and please include your name and phone number for verification.
Send letters to email@example.com:
Public Employees Federation
P.O. Box 12414
Albany, N.Y. 12212-2414
Email to Sherry Halbrook, Editor