ISPP 2015

Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
Health Benefits in Retirement (Overview)

Are you planning to retire in the next year? This video from the Wisconsin Department of
Employee Trust Funds, or ETF, will help ensure a smooth transition of your health benefits
into retirement. Most of the information provided in this video
applies to state, University of Wisconsin, and local employees. Where there are differences for local employees,
we will point them out. Meet Maria. She is 61 years old and nearing the end of
her state career after serving Wisconsin residents for 25 years. She recently received her retirement estimate
from ETF, and now also needs information about her health benefits in retirement. Maria wants to know:
Can I continue the health insurance I have today? I already paid money towards my deductible
and out-of-pocket limit this year. Do these limits reset once I stop working? If I cancel coverage, can I re-enroll later? Can I change my health plan once I retire? If my husband keeps working, should we switch
to his insurance? What if I want to buy different health insurance
in retirement? Let’s start addressing these important questions. Maria’s employer-based health insurance coverage
and plan design options will not change due to retirement. This means Maria, her spouse and other covered
dependents will still have access to the same doctors and other health care providers in
her plan’s network. Also, any money they have already paid towards
the deductible or out-of-pocket limit will carry forward through the end of the calendar
year. Maria can keep her health insurance because
she is currently covered. She will remain covered, as long as she pays
her premiums. If Maria were not currently covered, she could
take steps before she retires to become covered and protect her accumulated sick leave balance. Contact your employer benefits specialist
if you are in this situation. Maria can cancel her coverage at any time. Cancellation is effective the 1st of the month
after ETF receives the written request. As a state employee, unless Maria cancels
her coverage, it automatically continues into retirement. If Maria were a local employee, such as a
school teacher in a district covered under the Wisconsin Retirement System, she would
need to complete a form with her employer benefits specialist to continue coverage into
retirement. If she decides to cancel coverage, she could
reenroll during the annual It’s Your Choice open enrollment period in the fall. Maria wants to know if she can change health
plans. Retirement alone does not provide an opportunity
to change health plans. However, there are certain life events that
allow for plan changes at any time, outside of the annual It’s Your Choice open enrollment
period. Keep in mind, there are usually some program
changes each year that affect all employees and retirees. Maria should carefully review the updated
health benefits information during the annual It’s Your Choice open enrollment period in
the fall. This is when she will learn about any changes
in plan options, benefits, or available health plans and providers. Looking a few years down the road when Maria
turns 65, her plan options will change. She will need to enroll in Medicare. Check out the New to Medicare video for more
information. Oh, Maria also asked about switching to her
husband’s health plan. Since her spouse is still working, they can
switch to his health plan. Before doing so, they should each talk to
their employer benefits specialists, as there are some things to think about. For example, they will need to pay attention
to his plan’s enrollment dates. They will not have an automatic enrollment
opportunity solely because Maria is cancelling her coverage. Finally, Maria wonders if she should explore
coverage options besides those offered by her employer. She can always review options available in
the health insurance marketplace. If she chooses a plan from the marketplace,
she should consider how the benefits and costs compare to plans available through her employer. She will also need to be aware of the open
enrollment dates. If Maria decides to cancel her current coverage
through her employer, it will be important for her to protect, or escrow, any accumulated
sick leave credit Local employees do not have sick leave credits, but may have other resources
available through their employer to help pay for health benefits in retirement – a benefits
specialist will have all the details. Maria feels reassured now that she knows more
about her health benefits in retirement, and we hope you do, too. If you do have questions before retiring,
contact your employer benefits specialist. After retiring, contact ETF.

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