The past few weeks, I have been receiving emails from the TRTA (Texas Retired Teachers Assoc.) regarding changes with TRS-Care which is the retiree health insurance program. What I have been reading does not seem good for those who are retired under or over 65.
I was under the assumption that if I did not contact TRS that I would be on the Original Medicare plan with the same TRS-Care 3 plan I had before turning 65 on February 11. Humana, who is TRS-Care’s Medicare Advantage provider, says Humana is my primary and will pay my Medicare claims.
The Humana rep informed me that I am no longer in the Original Medicare system and Humana Medicare Advantage is taking care of my medical needs.
Could you please enlighten me about what changes are happening for the TRS system retirees? If I am overwhelmed, I am sure others are also.
Carolyn from Spring, TX
Major changes to the TRS-Care Retiree benefits are taking place on January 1, 2018 with Humana Medicare Advantage PPO plan as the only option.
If you are currently enrolled in TRS 1, 2, or 3 with Original Medicare and Aetna group health plan or TRS 2 or 3 Humana Medicare Advantage plan, these plans will no longer be available to a TRS retiree.
Retirees under 65, health insurance options will be replaced with a high deductible group health plan of $3,000 in-network deductible with a premium of $200 per month for an individual, $739 per month for a retiree with a spouse, $433 per month retiree with a child and $1074 per month for a retiree with a family.
Retirees 65 or older will only have the Humana Medicare Advantage PPO plan with a deductible of $500 and $3,500 maximum out of pocket in-network with Humana covering of a certain percentage of the medical cost. The premiums for individual retirees age 65 or older are $146 per month, retiree with a spouse $590 per month, retiree with a child $504 and retiree with a family $1,106 per month.
Carolyn, you have recently turned 65 and are in a special time called Medigap/Medicare supplement open enrollment period when one has a 6-month window beginning from the first day that your Part B begins. Your Medicare Part B began February 1st, and now that it is June, you have until July 30th to apply for a Medicare Supplement without having to answer any health questions to qualify for whichever Medicare Supplement plan you want to apply for.
There is a TRS rule which applies when one is enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B for the first time. TRS will automatically enroll retirees and/or their spouses into TRS Humana Medicare Advantage PPO plan when they first enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, whether turning 65 or older. You need to call TRS (1-888-237-6762) for the opt out letter if you do not want to be on TRS’s Humana Medicare Advantage plan and want to remain with Original Medicare.
The June 2nd TRTA newsletter states, “If you are age 65 or older and you decide to leave TRS-Care, you will not be able to rejoin. Carefully consider and research your health care options before making any decisions about your health care plan.”
TRS-Care plan is a group Medicare Advantage if one wants to return to Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement, then guaranteed issue Medicare SupplementStill Confused Or Have Questions?
Inside the Confused about Medicare Package you will find my personal notes that I utilize to teach my workshops. Also, I have taken the Maze of Medicare and broken it down to make it much easier to understand. If you are interested in obtaining this information please click on the link below or go to shop. rules will apply when one has been enrolled in Medicare Part B longer than 6 months.
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