<byline>By JoAnn Alix-Gagain<byline>
On September 8th, I, along with other retiree association leaders, participated in a video conference call with the AT&T benefits team. I can share with you today some of the upcoming changes that could impact you and or your dependents.
As you know AT&T announced earlier this year changes regarding the life insurance and death benefit insurance will have a major change come January 1, 2022. No longer will the life insurance that was based on your base salary and reduced as you aged be over any amounts other than $15,000 for a management retiree and for a union retiree it will be up to $ 25,000. As a union retiree if your life insurance is now below $25K it will not be raised, that is the reason they say “up to”. Additionally, if your surviving dependent were to receive the Death benefit insurance as well which was a year’s salary that has been eliminated completely for all NON GRANDFATHERD RETIREES union and management.
<highlight-bold>None of the life insurance and death benefits changes apply to Grandfathered retirees.<highlight-bold>
AT&T indicated that they will have a one time offering for retirees who will see this change only to purchase supplemental life insurance at a reduced a rate during the enrollment this fall. You can purchase an amount that would equate to what you have currently excluding death benefit, and you can purchase a lower amount as well. You just can’t go higher. The pricing goes up as you age. So, in 2022 I am 75 yrs. old the price is the same for all 75-year-old folks and that price is good for anyone who becomes 75 in the next 3 years. But in 2023 I am 76, I now move to that 76-age bracket for pricing. Just like any insurance it will go up in costs as aging occurs. AT&T will hand it all off to Metropolitan Life after enrollment who will be billing you and you will deal directly with them moving forward, not AT&T. Enrollment for this one-time offering is from Oct 11th through Nov 5th only. (No qualifying physicals)
If you purchased supplemental life insurance at retirement, coverage does end at age 65. This new offering will not.
I have seen some of the premium costing examples for this offering which is to be subsidized by AT&T for a period of time as they have said as well as stating the offering has reduced rates. I don’t see it at all in my opinion. Research other options available to you if you really need to replace this loss. Talk to your financial planners to determine your need as well.
On to Medical. Non-grandfathered retirees can fall into one of two enrollment periods; Non-Medicare Oct 11th through Nov 5th and Medicare participants enrollment (by law) and is Oct 15 through Dec 7th.
In the health care arena, the AT&T Medical Advantage Plan (MAP) the was offered for the first-time last year and will again be offered. This plan includes your Medicare provisions and additional medical and drug coverage with one card. The monthly premium for a retiree will remain at no cost. The dependents premium will be reduced from $98. per month to $ 88.per month. The plan’s Tier 4 drugs copay will change to a flat rate of $95 (instead of up-front total costs until deductible is met) for a 30-day supply. That is a major change/improvement for those highly expensive drugs. AT&T will open websites /call centers on Oct 11th for dialog and or selection changes for the AT&T MAP advantage plan earlier and hold them until official enrollment periods. It will be in written materials that you will receive.
Care Plus will be available in 2022 at a cost of $ 1 for retiree and $3 each for dependents. There was an error in earlier materials that stated $2 for dependents. All newer material will reflect the $3 cost. If not enrolled in Care Plus yet you must enroll from Oct 11th through Nov 5th. If you receive a pension, check the Care Plus costs will be taken from your check; if no pension, check you will receive a bill.
AON will continue to administer the reimbursement accounts for retirees who have a medical or script plan through them. Retiree remains at $2700 and dependent who is also on Medicare and selects a plan though AON remains at $1500. Many plans will see a reduction or stay the same in their premium rates. (wow). Some drug plans may be changing preferred retail pharmacies. Be sure to review that well and not just the premium price.
The reimbursement accounts are funded for coverage years of 2022 & 2023. No dialog /commitment beyond that from the company. Any money remaining in your accounts will be rolled over.
Grandfathered retirees and dependents will remain with current medical plans. Dental coverage & costing is dependent on the level of coverage you select. (3 to choose from)
Silver Sneakers will not be the offering in some plans in 2022 but will be replaced with a different program.
Each year I advise you to read everything have a highlighter to note important dates, mark your calendar to be prepared.
IF you do not want to change anything you do not have to do anything at all. Sit back…
DO NOT get answers to your questions on social media pages. Different materials to different groups. Benefits are a big expense. Do you ask Facebook friends, fellow retirees at lunch how to spend your money? I doubt it. And everyone is not you or have your issues.