<byline>By JoAnn Alix-Gagain<byline>
By now you have begun to receive information for your 2021 health care coverage. You will need to read your materials as this is your coverage, and your responsibility. Do not depend on your social media friends for advice or council. It will not work out in most cases.
I will provide you with the highlights in this newsletter of the new AT&T offering for folks who are NOT grandfathered, updates for those of you who use AON offerings and changes for those who are grandfathered.
By no means will this be a fully detailed article with every single item disclosed by the SRA. That would be far too cumbersome and the what ifs are far too many. So, do yourself a favor and do your homework, kids!!!
Reminder note: Grandfathered are those Management folks who retired prior to 1/1/1992 and Union folks who retired prior to 1/1/1990.
First and foremost, I will advise you if possible, to listen in to one of the webinars on the internet that AT&T will sponsor. These will begin in October and run through mid-November. The webinar notice that you will receive will have the sessions listed which apply to your status of either grandfathered or non-grandfathered. The sessions are different.
For retirees who are not grandfathered details and summary of benefits for the new AT&T plan will be known as the AT&T Group Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan has been custom designed to combine features of other Medicare supplemental plans. It includes a large prescription drug list uniquely designed for AT&T, a larger list of pharmacy networks, mail order, and national provider access (any provider that accepts MEDICARE), and worldwide urgent and emergency care. Additionally, it includes custom enhancements for AT&T retirees and their dependents such as Silver Sneakers, UHC House Calls, post discharge meal program and a post discharge transport service.
The costs associated with the new plan will be: no monthly premium for the retiree and less than $100 for a dependent, zero co pay for primary care visits; $30 for a specialist. The plan will be administered by United Heath Care (UHC) and will have a dedicated AT&T contact number of 1-866-819-3448, 7 days a week, 8 AM to 8 PM.
You will not receive reimbursement money from AT&T for healthcare costs. However, you may still enroll through AON for dental and/ or vision and receive subsidy a for 2021 accordingly: $300 retirees, $200 for dependents. AND /OR you can split the difference if you choose … a retiree could go under the new plan - with no reimbursement $$$ and the dependent can enroll/stay in an AON plan and receive dependent HSA $$$... To be clear retirees and their dependents can choose different plans and providers as individuals.
I am going to stop right here … you are all saying to yourself: “Why would I give up my reimbursement account $$ for this new plan?” For many folks it might be less expensive in the long run, give you expanded drug coverage, access to a national network of providers and facilities and more.
You have to see 2021 prices for what you utilize today to do a proper comparison with the new AT&T option. To dismiss this new offering until you know all the facts would be in the very least foolish, as some have already done just because of the HSA $$. I have read many such comments on several social media sites. This is not a plan that is available on the open market by any carrier. As a reminder, AT&T has committed only to fund HSA thorough 2023. There is no further commitment by the corporation. You will be able to clearly see that the new AT&T plan will be less expensive for the company as well. They made no secret of that
For those retirees who have supplemental Medicare Gap medical plans and separate prescription drug plans through AON or other vendors and plan on no changes you can maintain your current coverage at 2021 pricing. However, if you do want to move to the new AT&T plan, UHC can assist you in dis-enrolling from your 2020 plan (s) so you do not end up paying for a plan you will be unable to use.
<highlight>Enrollment period for the new AT&T Group Medicare Advantage Plan is October 15 through December 7. <highlight>
For our grandfathered folks and their dependents who are on Medicare, you will see a change in your prescription provider. The company has created a new AT&T Group Medical Advantage Plan administered by UHC that will incorporate both medical and drug coverage. You will have one card for both. If you are currently enrolled in AT&T Group Medicare Advantage Plan you do not have to do anything, as you will automatically be enrolled. If not in that plan already you may enroll from October 12 through November 13,2020 by calling 1 -877-722-0020.
To learn about the plan benefits, find a provider, look up drugs you can call: 1-888-803-9234 or the website of: www.UHCRetiree.com
<highlight-ital>(If you are grandfathered and you and or your dependent is not on Medicare, there is no change to the administration of your drug plan.)<highlight-ital>
Enrollment dates will be clearly outlined in all materials, so pay attention to those specific dates as well.
Read, ask questions, know your own drugs and where they fall in the plans and for goodness sake please make your own choices based on your needs not on anyone else’s.