Retirement Board Approves One-Time Health Care Premium Rebate of $250 for Plan Enrollees Who Qualify
During the October meeting of the State Teachers Retirement Board, STRS Ohio staff shared that plan year 2020 health care utilization has been less than projected — largely due to COVID-19 — with additional savings expected through the end of the plan year. The board approved staff’s recommendation to provide a premium rebate of $250 for each enrollee covered by the STRS Ohio retiree health care medical program in October 2020. The total cost of the rebate is $29.1 million and will cover benefit recipients, spouses and dependent enrollees. The premium rebate will be paid to STRS Ohio retiree health care program members in the December 2020 pension payment.
Open Enrollment for 2021 Medical, Dental and Vision Plans Began Nov. 1
Open enrollment for STRS Ohio’s medical, dental and vision plans began on Nov. 1 and will extend through Nov. 24. This is the period for benefit recipients to decide if they want to change plans or enroll in a new plan for 2021 without a qualifying event.
Board-approved premiums resulted in a monthly increase of $3 or less for about 85% of current medical plan enrollees and slightly lower premiums for current dental and vision plan enrollees. While most plan features will remain the same, a few changes will be made for the STRS Ohio Health Care Program for 2021 and are outlined below.
Members who have requested paperless delivery of open-enrollment materials received an email when the materials became available online. In late October, members who did not request electronic delivery received open-enrollment materials by mail in an STRS Ohio Health Care Program envelope. All eligible members received dental and vision plan information. Medical plan information was included for current medical plan enrollees. If you currently have medical coverage, your personalized letter included a list of plans and premiums. The medical plan listed on the front of the letter is the plan you will be enrolled in for 2021 unless you contact STRS Ohio. Additional plan options (if available) are listed on the back of the letter. To make a change to your medical, dental or vision plan, log in to your Online Personal Account and click “Health Care.” If you do not have a personal account, you can register for one here.
If you are not currently enrolled in an STRS Ohio plan and would like a personalized enrollment packet, contact STRS Ohio’s Member Services Center toll-free at 888‑227‑7877 to request these materials.
2021 Medical Plan Premiums
Board-approved health care plan premiums for the 2021 plan year resulted in a monthly premium increase of $3 or less for about 85% of current plan enrollees. A complete list of premiums is available on the STRS Ohio website or by request through the STRS Ohio Member Services Center. A sampling of the medical plan premiums is shown below.
Monthly Enrollee Premiums for 2021 — With Medicare
|Benefit Recipient Years of Service*
(See requirements below.)
|Aetna Medicare Plan (Medicare Advantage PPO)
Total Cost: $343
|Medical Mutual Basic (Indemnity or PPO)
Total Cost: $341
|AultCare PrimeTime Health Plan (Medicare Advantage HMO-POS) Total Cost: $390||Paramount Elite (Medicare Advantage HMO)
Total Cost: $389
Monthly Enrollee Premiums for 2021 — Without Medicare
|Benefit Recipient Years of Service*
(See requirements below.)
|Aetna Basic/Medical Mutual Basic (Indemnity or PPO)
Total Cost: $1,071
Total Cost: $928
|Paramount Health Care (HMO)
Total Cost: $922
|Disabled Adult Child||$1,071||$928||$922|
Members who retired before Jan. 1, 2004, with less than 15 years of service credit have access to coverage but pay the full cost of their premium.
Members who retire on or after Jan. 1, 2004, and before Aug. 1, 2023, must have at least 15 years of total service credit to access coverage.
IMPORTANT: Members who retire on or after Aug. 1, 2023, must have at least 20 years of total service credit to access coverage.
Medical Plan Changes for 2021
- Medicare Part B Partial Reimbursement Program will continue. Under this program, benefit recipients who are enrolled in an STRS Ohio medical plan and Medicare Part B receive $29.90 per month to reimburse a portion of the Medicare Part B premium. Dental and vision plan enrollees do not receive reimbursement.
- Drug maximum out-of-pocket limit increases to $6,550 from $6,350 for the Medicare plans to align with the 2021 standard Medicare Part D plan total out-of-pocket costs.
- Prescription drug annual deductible increases to $275 from $250 for the Express Scripts Medicare and non-Medicare plans.
Health Care Items of Note
- STRS Ohio’s Open-Enrollment Resource Center is available 24/7. This section of the website includes instructions, plan coverage features, premiums and more — everything you need to enroll in a medical, dental or vision plan.
- Annual deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums reset every Jan. 1. Accumulated amounts do not carry over to the next calendar year.
- Current medical plan enrollees will receive open-enrollment materials (personalized letter with plans and premiums, overview of plan features and instructions). Enrollees who selected the paperless option can view their materials in their Online Personal Account.
- If you are not currently enrolled in a plan and are interested in coverage, contact STRS Ohio to request your personalized open-enrollment information.
- Current enrollees can use their Online Personal Account to change plans, add coverage or cancel enrollment; new enrollees can use their personal account to enroll in a plan.
Dental, Vision Open Enrollment Underway Nov. 1–24; Premiums Slightly Lower
Open-enrollment for dental and vision coverage is Nov. 1–24. You can enroll yourself or your dependents for the upcoming two-year contract period (Jan. 1, 2021–Dec. 31, 2022) by using your Online Personal Account. Enrollment in an STRS Ohio medical plan is not required to enroll in dental or vision coverage.
Coverage remains the same for Delta Dental under the two-year contract, and monthly premiums for dental coverage for a benefit recipient will be $30.08 starting in 2021. Coverage for a benefit recipient along with another adult will be $69.61.
Vision coverage under Vision Service Plan’s (VSP) network also remains the same under the current two-year enrollment contract and premiums also reflect a slight decrease. Premiums for VSP coverage for a benefit recipient will be $6.65 per month starting in 2021, while coverage for a benefit recipient and another adult will be $13.36.
The two-year enrollment contract period applies to all eligible enrollees. This means once you enroll in the dental and/or vision plan, you must remain in the plan through December 2022. A complete list of premiums and coverage features for Delta Dental and VSP are available on the STRS Ohio website.
If you are currently enrolled and wish to remain enrolled, you do not need to contact STRS Ohio — your coverage will be extended through Dec. 31, 2022. However, if you would like to cancel coverage in either or both plans, you must submit your cancellation request through your Online Personal Account or call or email STRS Ohio by Nov. 24.
Health Care Webinar to Offer Details About Minimizing Costs and Open Enrollment
Understanding your health care coverage is the first step in controlling costs. Join us for an informative webinar to learn about:
- Minimizing out-of-pocket expenses for medical, prescription drug, and dental and vision coverage
- Plan changes effective Jan. 1, 2021
- Open-enrollment details and resources for 2021 medical coverage and 2021–2022 dental and vision coverage
This webinar will be held on Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Further details and registration links are available on the STRS Ohio website. A recording of the webinar will also be available at in the Videos section in late October.
Be informed about your coverage. Your health depends on it!
Online Option Offers Fast, Secure Health Care Enrollment
STRS Ohio benefit recipients who want to enroll, cancel or change their medical, dental and/or vision plan coverage can do so online during open enrollment through a secure Online Personal Account. You can log in anytime during open enrollment to make changes to your coverage effective Jan. 1. If you do not have an Online Personal Account, registering is easy.
You can also use your Online Personal Account to update contact information and communication preferences; register for webinars, meetings and counseling sessions; view important documents and for health care enrollees to submit their Medicare information.
Your Total Health
In today’s data-driven world, we are seeing an increase in care coordination among your physician, pharmacists and medical plan vendors. Because of this data exchange, the professionals who you trust to keep you healthy are able to review and act on this information more quickly than ever before. This is good for you because by working together, they can identify new opportunities to improve your health, whether that means providing a bag to dispose of your medications safely or notifying your medical case manager of an issue. Another example is if you are a diabetic, you might be notified of an opportunity to monitor your blood sugar levels through an app on your phone. These are just a few ways your health plan and STRS Ohio are working together to keep you as healthy as possible.
Health Care Assistance Program Continues, Income Eligibility Amount Increased
STRS Ohio offers a Health Care Assistance Program (HCAP) to qualifying benefit recipients. The program provides medical and prescription drug coverage for a $0 premium. Eligibility for the program is now based in part on an annual family income limit of 175% of the federal poverty level for a family household of two persons ($29,593 for retirees currently applying based on 2019 tax returns) and a household liquid asset limit of the same amount identified above (a home is not considered a liquid asset). New HCAP applicants must be eligible for a subsidy under the STRS Ohio Health Care Program to qualify for HCAP enrollment. Benefit recipients, survivors and beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in HCAP are not subject to the subsidy requirement as long as they continue to meet all other HCAP requirements and remain continuously enrolled in the program. New and current STRS Ohio Health Care Program enrollees may apply. The application and additional program details are available on the STRS Ohio website or by request from the Member Services Center (toll-free) at 888‑227‑7877.