CCPF Medicare Education
The Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF) now offers a free Medicare Education Event targeted to retiree members approaching the Medicare eligibility age of 65. During these highly informative programs, members hear from representatives from the Social Security Administration (SSA), UnitedHealthcare (UHC), CVS, and CCPF’s health benefits department on Medicare eligibility, enrollment, and plan coordination with Medicare.
The first event ran February 28, 2018. Highlights follow:
Social Security Administration (SSA)
During an overview of benefits administered by SSA, a representative of the agency discussed Medicare. Medicare eligibility was explained, as well as how SSA handles Medicare enrollment and when to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, and how Medicare enrollment can be done online through www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. This secure account provides access to SSI statements and lifetime earnings can be viewed and more. As part of the presentation, CCPF retirees were encouraged to sign up for Medicare three months before their 65th birthday. Those members who prefer signing up in person can do so at any Social Security office.
A representative from UHC, the health plan provider for the CCPF’s retiree health benefit, discussed the difference between the two health plans offered to retirees: Choice and Choice Plus. How UHC’s PPO plans coordinate with Medicare was explained, as was how medical bills are paid once a retiree is enrolled in Medicare, Retiree health plan participants are encouraged to register themselves with www.myUHC.com, a web portal where patients can find doctors and hospitals, and review health statements, estimates of benefits and other information. View UHC presentation here.
CVS / SilverScript
The CVS representative discussed SilverScript, its Medicare Part D subsidiary that retiree health benefits participants are automatically enrolled in. The pharmacy plan offered to retiree members includes two parts: SilverScript – the Medicare Part D plan, and a “Wrap” plan, which is extra prescription drug coverage that fills the gaps Medicare Part D doesn’t cover. Automatic enrollment in the SilverScript program for Health Plan members was explained. Health Plan participants are advised not to sign up for Medicare Part D or any other Medicare plan with prescription drug coverage. Also discussed were copays, prior authorizations and which pharmacies fill prescriptions at the lowest copay.
Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF)
As part of the event, CCPF staff walked through the steps current Health Plan members need to take to change to the Medicare supplemental plan and how this lowers monthly premiums. She also provided an overview of preventive resources and services available to health plan participants – both Medicare and non-Medicare – at no charge through UHC. These include immunizations, smoking cessation support, cancer screenings, and online and phone services that include health coaches and 24-7 access to registered nurses to help with questions about personal health issues. View coverage presentation here. View resource presentation here.