FAQs: Retiree Medical Insurance Plan
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the eligibility requirements to participate in the Loyola University Retiree Medical Insurance plan and/or the Retiree Health Account? In order to be eligible for University retiree health benefits, you must be at least sixty (60) years old and have a minimum of ten (10) years of continuous full-time University service, immediately prior to your retirement date.
- Is the Loyola University Retiree Medical Insurance plan different from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan that I’m currently enrolled in as a full-time employee? Yes. Although you may see some similarities between your current BC/BS plan and the Retiree BC/BS insurance plan, they are two separate plans. If you choose to enroll in the Loyola University Retiree Medical Insurance plan, you must complete a new enrollment form at least sixty days prior to your retirement date. If you or your spouse/LDA or any eligible dependents are Medicare eligible, you will also need to complete Medicare Part D enrollment forms at the same time. Please contact the Human Resources Department at (312) 915-6175, to schedule a meeting with one of our representatives to obtain the appropriate enrollment forms. You may view more details about the Loyola Retiree Medical Plan, including deductible and co-insurance amounts by clicking on the Highlights of Retiree Medical Plan link below.
- Does the Retiree Medical Plan cover prescription drugs? Yes, however the payment levels differ slightly, depending on whether or not the individual is eligible for Medicare. The Prescription Drug (Rx) Plan link includes a chart which shows the Rx payment levels for those that are Medicare Eligible and also for those individuals not yet covered by Medicare.
- How much are the monthly premiums for Loyola’s Retiree Medical plan? You must pay the full cost for all individuals on your plan. The monthly cost sheet may be viewed by clicking on the link entitled Monthly Costs.
- Why is under age 65 coverage more expensive than over age 65 coverage? When you retire and reach age 65, you become eligible for Medicare. At the time of your retirement, Medicare becomes your primary source of insurance and the University’s plan becomes the secondary insurer. This means that your Medicare plan covers the majority of your medical expenses and the University plan covers a portion of the remaining expenses. That’s why post-65 retiree health coverage through the University is less expensive than pre-65 coverage (when the University plan is still the primary source of insurance).
- Is the Loyola University Retiree Medical Insurance Plan a "supplement" to Medicare, after I turn 65 years old? No. Loyola’s Retiree Medical Insurance Plan is not a Medicare supplement or a Medigap plan. It is called a “carve-out” plan, which means that BC/BS will determine the payable amounts for any covered service, as listed in the plan. From that resulting amount, they will deduct any amount that was paid by Medicare. The difference, if any, would be paid by our Loyola Retiree Medical Insurance Plan. Therefore, if Medicare’s payment is “equal to” or “greater than” what Loyola’s plan would have paid, than in those instances, Loyola’s payment will be zero.
- Where can I learn more about Medicare coverage and receive information about Medicare Supplement plans? Your best resource for Medicare information is the government’s website at www.medicare.gov or call #1-800-MEDICARE. You may also view basic Medicare information including other helpful resources on our Retiree Medical website in the section entitled Retirement 101-Knowledge Center.
- May I continue my dental insurance coverage after I retire? Although the University does not offer a retiree dental plan, you do have rights under COBRA to continue the same dental plan that you were enrolled in at the time of your retirement, for a maximum COBRA period of 18 months. You must complete the COBRA enrollment packet that will be mailed to your home, if you wish to continue your dental coverage. Benefit Express, our outside COBRA Administrator, will reinstate your dental coverage after the completed COBRA paperwork is returned to them, along with the first months premium payment.
- Will the University guarantee that it will continue to provide retiree health benefits in the future? There have been changes made to University-provided benefits over the past few years, many of which have been driven by the double-digit annual increases in health care costs we’ve experienced over the past several years. This is an issue that all employers—in both university and corporate settings—are working to manage. While we can’t guarantee that retiree health care benefits will remain the same in the future, we can assure you that the University can reasonably expect to sustain the program for a number of years as a result of the funding changes we made in 2006. The reason for the retiree health plan redesign is to enhance our ability to provide some level of health care benefit when you and other faculty and staff members retire.
As with all of our benefits programs, we will continue to evaluate the retiree health plan regularly as the national health care system and associated legislation continue to evolve.
- If I initially decline enrollment in the Loyola Retiree Medical Plan, will I ever be able to enroll in the plan at a later date? No. Upon retirement, you will have thirty-one (31) days to decide whether or not you wish to enroll in the Loyola Retiree Medical Plan. You must complete an election form with your choice at the time of retirement and it will be an irrevocable decision.
- When would I need to notify my department of my expected retirement date? You should inform your department chairperson, dean or director as soon as possible, as well as the Provost or Vice President for Health Sciences. That will help you and the department make appropriate plans for the future. At the very latest, you will need to put your decision in writing to inform the Human Resources Department no later than two months before your expected retirement date. This should allow enough time to ensure that your transition from the active health care plan to the Loyola Retiree Medical Insurance Plan is a smooth one.