Health Care Program News

Health Care Plan Premiums Available

For many STRS Ohio members, projecting future health care costs are an important component in determining their financial needs in retirement. Members can review a complete list of 2019 premiums for all STRS Ohio health care plans on the STRS Ohio website. You may also request a copy by calling the Member Services Center toll-free at 888‑227‑7877.

Approved Health Care Program Change Announced

STRS Ohio offers a health care program to eligible benefit recipients. Access to health care coverage is optional and is not guaranteed under Ohio law; however, STRS Ohio understands that access to health care coverage is important to many members. For the 2019 plan year, the only plan design change is a $100 increase in the out-of-pocket limit for prescriptions to $5,100 from $5,000.

Health Care Fund Continues to Strengthen; Board Aims to Preserve Fund Stability

At its October meeting, the Retirement Board’s actuarial consultant, Cheiron, presented the results of its valuation report for the Health Care Fund. Good claims experience had a positive impact on the fund. The fund balance increased to $3.72 billion as of July 1, 2018, up from $3.69 billion on Jan. 1, 2018. It is estimated that if the fund earns 7.45% in all future years — which could be challenging in the next decade — and all other plan experience matches assumptions, the fund is projected to remain solvent for all current members.

The board has expressed its interest in developing a plan management policy for the Health Care Fund to provide the guidance necessary to make the health care program more stable, reliable and secure. With no employer contributions currently going into the Health Care Fund, STRS Ohio staff said the retirement system should position itself to be able to withstand investment market volatility. The Health Care Fund is now funded by premiums paid by enrollees, government reimbursements and investment earnings on these funds.

In the months that follow, the board hopes to finalize its work on the plan management policy. The board would like the policy to address two key principles:

  1. The desire to offer a meaningful premium subsidy to plan enrollees, and
  2. Sustainability of the fund for current and future plan enrollees.

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