OP&F News

Aon to assist OP&F with health care exchange services

While important decisions will be made in the coming months, trustees worked with staff and OP&F’s new health care partner, Aon, during the December Board meetings to establish a framework for the new retiree health care plan scheduled to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2019.

Although the self-insured health care plan will be ending, the structure of the old plan will tentatively serve as a guideline for the new plan design. The new plan will assist retirees in selecting a health care plan from the marketplace and include a fixed-cost monthly stipend to assist in paying associated costs.

The current eligibility structure is expected to be adopted for the new plan, meaning that to receive a stipend a retiree must not have access to group health care coverage. Also, if a retiree has waived OP&F coverage in the past, they would not be eligible for the stipend unless a qualifying event occurs (marriage, death, divorce, the involuntary loss of group coverage, or the date of Medicare eligibility).

The stipend amount has not been set. However, it is the desire of the Board to create stipend levels that will provide meaningful financial support for Medicare and non-Medicare retirees.

>A poverty-level subsidy will likely be adopted, similar to the current assistance given to families who qualify.

Aon will assist retirees in choosing an appropriate health care plan for their needs. Access to Aon’s services will be for all retired members and dependents, whether they are eligible for the stipend or not. There is no charge to the member for using the services offered by Aon.

At the Nov. 15, 2017 Board Meeting, the OP&F Trustees directed staff to begin contract discussions with Aon to provide health care exchange services for our membership.

In recognition of the declining funds available for retiree health care, the Board looked for a more efficient use of funds still available in an effort to extend solvency of the trust from nine years to 15 years. The self-insured model, which has been in place for many years, is not sustainable. To remain status quo would deplete the health care trust at an increasingly rapid rate.

The Board’s decision to restructure how OP&F offers retiree health care and efficiently use the estimated $900 million in assets held in the Health Care Solvency Fund is targeted to transition as of Jan. 1, 2019. Of course, the Board reserves the right to defer implementation if necessary. Though OP&F will no longer manage a self-insured health care program, it will continue to provide a strong health care exchange provider. OP&F has full confidence in Aon that they will assist members in transitioning to this new model.

Aon has been active in the private market health care exchange arena for many years and is considered one of the best in class for this important service. The Board would like to thank UnitedHealthcare for servicing our membership under the self-insured model for many years. We will remain with UnitedHealthcare under the current self-insured model, through Dec. 31, 2018.

OP&F asks membership to be patient as the Board and staff develop the specifics of this new model. There are many decisions to be made including the specific monthly stipend amount. OP&F remains committed to supporting OP&F members in acquiring health insurance after retirement.

As the decision process unfolds, OP&F will continue to update stakeholder groups and continue to ask for input as new rules and conditions are developed for OP&F’s future health care offering.

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