Latest News for Purdue Retirees
PURA December 2, 2013 Luncheon
All Purdue retirees are invited to join former colleagues and bring their friends to the monthly PURA luncheon, held at the MCL Cafeteria on Sagamore Parkway West in West Lafayette. Members and their guests should arrive by 11 AM, go through the line to purchase lunch, and then join other PURA members in the MCL meeting room. The meeting and presentation start at 11:45 AM. The December 2 speaker will be Purdue University Associate Dean Jow Potts. He will discuss international students and programs at Purdue. We hope you plan to attend!
Campus and Community Committee AnnouncementsExercising at the Cordova Center
A number of great options for exercise are now available to PURA members at the France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center. Ask at the Co-Rec desk for a schedule of Group X, Limited Retiree options, that are basically available before 2 PM on weekdays. The price is amazing — only $20 for the classes, in addition to the semester membership charge of $75; and the price of each is pro-rated by the month as the semester advances.
Among other options: Mondays Zumba Gold is available from 8:30 to 9:20 and Tai Chi from 9:30 to 10:20. On Tuesday Step N' Sculpt is scheduled from noon to 12:50. On Wednesday Zumba Gold is from 8:30 to 9:20 and Vortex Challenge is from 12:15 to 12:45. On Thursday Water Walking is from 9:30 to 10 and Deep Water Fitness is from noon to 12:45. See the schedule for other more vigorous options on weekdays and weekends.
Trips & Tours Plans November 30, 2013 Trip to LouisvilleSaturday, November 30 – A Christmas Celebration of the Lights – For only $89.00 per person, PURA members and their guests can enjoy a daylong trip to “Mega Cavern, Lights Under Louisville,” a holiday light spectacular event that features the only underground holiday light show with 2,000,000 points of light and 750 themed characters animated with Christmas music. In addition, participants will stop at the Galt House for their KaLightoscope, another unique and spectacular display. Imperial motorcar transportation and event admissions are included. For reservations, call IMPERIAL 447-9321 or 800-642-6645 and ask to register for the PURA trip to the Celebration of the Lights on November 30.
Health Insurance Plans Renewed for 2014 with Great News!
For the Third Year PURcare Health Insurance (Senior Supplement plan) Premiums Are Lower
The Benefits Committee of the Purdue University Retirees Association has renewed the PURcare and Medicare Advantage PPO Health Insurance plans with UnitedHealthcare (UHC) for 2014 and has negotiated an overall lower premium for the PURcare plan and a very market competitive rate increase in the premium for the Medicare Advantage or PPO plan, overcoming some major price increases resulting from the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
PURcare, the Purdue Retirees Association’s Senior Supplement health plan participated in by over 2,100 Purdue Retirees, will continue for 2014 with the same medical, vision and prescription drug benefits as in 2013, but for a lower premium than paid in 2013. The Medicare Advantage PPO plan will have the same benefits and co-pays as in 2013 with a premium increase driven totally by mandates from the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Please see the later explanation of why this is a reasonable increase.
Through the expertise of AonHewitt Consulting, paid for by Purdue University; the support of the Purdue Human Resources Department; the desire of United Healthcare to continue to serve our members; and the hard work of the Retirees Benefits Committee members, our premiums are set at very competitive rates as compared to other health insurance plans. Over the past several months the Benefits Committee reviewed plans from many other health insurance companies and received health care utilization information on our plans from UnitedHealthcare. This background and information was used to negotiate our continued coverage with UHC at very competitive premium rates.
For the PURcare Senior Supplement plan, the negotiators needed to overcome many price changes that were mandated by the Federal Affordable Care Act of 2010. Beginning in 2014, an insurer's fee (tax) of 2.3% is assessed on all health insurance premiums. The fee will be used by the federal government to assist in funding the State Insurance Exchanges for individuals without health insurance. The rates also included a premium tax increase from 1.3% to 1.75%. An additional charge of $.17 per member per month was mandated by the federal government to fund a Patient Centered Outcomes Institute. All of these charges were overcome without raising the combined premium for the PURcare Senior Supplement and Prescription Drug plan. This was made possible by some very favorable reductions in claim costs by our members and the size of our pool. Examples are: as a group we increased the usage of generic drugs versus brand name drugs, we had fewer hospital admits per thousand members and fewer days spent in the hospital, our number of visits to the emergency room were reduced and inpatient skilled nursing days as well as outpatient surgeries were down.
In summary, we were a healthier group during 2012, the year that was used to determine rates for 2014. We hope that members will utilize healthcare services when needed but we propose that we all make full utilization of preventive healthcare services such as wellness screening, flu shots and Silver Sneakers. These services cost much less than healthcare services once you are sick.
For the PPO Medicare Advantage Plan, the negotiators needed to overcome the same additional costs that were included in the Senior Supplement plan, with the exception of the state tax which is not applied to these plans. We were also faced with a 4.6% reduction in subsidies from Medicare for all Medicare Advantage programs mandated by the Affordable Care Act. This reduction in support is expected to continue over the next several years until the premiums cover the cost of the plan. Also the new insurer’s fee of 2.3% is not only applied to the premium but also to the un-reimbursed subsidy from Medicare for the program. The insurer’s fee alone totals $21.21 per member per month. All insurance providers will be faced with the same insurer’s fee. The reduced support from Medicare coupled with the large increase from the insurer’s fee made for the premium increase of $11.16 per member per month for 2014. The monthly premium per member will be $197.12. Note that the increase does not even cover the increased charges for the insurer’s fee; therefore we did get a benefit for our reduced health care claims for the previous year. The premium is still very competitive when compared to other similar plans, especially considering there is no change to co-pays or out-of-pocket maximum.
If you are currently a member of one of our plans and do not want to make a change, your coverage will continue for 2014 without re-enrollment.
PURcare for 2014:
• The PURcare medical plan (UnitedHealthcare Senior Supplement), including vision care, will continue with the same benefits as 2013 but with a lower premium of $181.53 per member per month. The 2013 premium was $191.02 per member per month, down from $199.47 for 2012. We are really beating the national trend of about 4% annual increases.
• The PURcare Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) continues with open formulary, no step therapy, and no “donut hole” for a rate of $81.41 per member per month. The premium for 2013 was $77.30 per member per month up from $75.05 in 2012. Our increased usage of generic drugs helped us beat the industry standard expected increase of 7-10%. Members will continue to benefit from Medicare imposed rules on maximum co-pays for four different tiers of drugs.
• For 2014 your share of prescription drug costs will remain at 50% for local pharmacies and 45% for mail orders. True-Out-of-Pocket maximum costs will be $4,550, down from $4,750 in 2013, which represents the Medicare-determined amount for the Standard Medicare Part D catastrophic threshold. Once this catastrophic threshold is reached, prescription drugs are covered at 100% for the remainder of the year.
• Annual deductible for hospital/medical services will continue to be $300.00. After this level is reached, all Medicare-approved costs, including hospitalization, outpatient services, skilled nursing facility, home health care, and other benefits, will be covered at 100% for the remainder of the year, plus up to $150 per year for Vision care.
• PURcare members must continue to be enrolled in both the medical and prescription drug plans to be eligible to participate in this plan. An exception is made for members with VA benefits for prescription coverage.
• Per person total monthly premium for medical and prescription drug coverage for 2014 will be $262.94 down from $268.32 for 2013 which was down from $274.52 for 2012.
Veteran Administration Eligible Members:
The PURcare medical-only premium will be will be $181.53 per month down from $191.02 in 2013.
2014 Medicare Advantage PPO plan:
The Purdue sponsored Medicare Advantage plan, UnitedHealthcare® Group Medicare Advantage (PPO) was also renewed for 2014. The premium will be $197.12 per member per month with no change in covered benefits or co-pays from 2013. This premium covers a combined medical and drug plan. This is an excellent rate when one considers that the 2.3% insurer’s fee is included in the premium and that Medicare reduced their subsidy for Medicare Advantage Plans starting in 2014.
Health Insurance Consultant Continued for PURA by Purdue University:
In consultation with PURA, Purdue University continued the services of a consultant to assist the Benefits Committee in negotiations and in obtaining information needed to renew the insurance coverage. AonHewitt and Associates, Chicago, IL represented by Laurie Cooper was of great assistance. We appreciate the support of Purdue Human Resources in making this service available.
Purdue Human Resources Support Continues:
All members of any Purdue Retirees Association Health Insurance plan pay a small portion of their premium ($1.44) each month to support a full time staff person in Human Resources to assist our members with health insurance enrollment and claims issues. PURA members continue to receive outstanding support from Purdue Human Resources and we thank them. Our full time support person for health insurance is Kate LaMar. Please phone or contact Kate with questions at email@example.com or 765-494-1694. We also receive excellent secretarial help from Michelle Salla.
Biochemistry Receives the PURA Arthur G. Hansen Recognition Award
Purdue’s Department of Biochemistry in the College of Agriculture was presented the 2013 Arthur G. Hansen Recognition Award. This award is presented by the Purdue University Retirees Association (PURA) and the Office of the President to recognize the efforts of any University unit that cultivates and maintains meaningful relationships with their retirees. Purdue retirees make the nominations from which the recipient is selected.
The award will be presented to Dr. Jay Akridge, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Dr. Clint Chapple, Department Head, at the University’s annual Retirement Luncheon on June 27 in the Purdue Memorial Union. The Department of Biochemistry will receive a trophy and be listed on a plaque in the corridor of the Union. The award also includes $2,500, funded by TIAA-CREF, to be used to help strengthen the department’s relationship with its retirees.
The award is given in honor of Arthur G. Hansen, who served as Purdue president from 1971 to 1982. During President Hansen’s tenure, Purdue founded the President’s Advisory Council on Retirement, which became the Purdue University Retirees Association. The Hansen Award was established eleven years ago.
Arthur G. Hansen Recognition Award Nominations Sought for 2013-14
The Arthur G. Hansen award is presented by the Purdue University Retirees Association (PURA) and the Office of the President to a university unit that excels in fostering a strong relationship between their retirees and the university. The award is named in honor of President Arthur G. Hansen because of his leadership and support in establishing the initial Purdue retirees’ organization.
Nominations are now being accepted for this year. Any Purdue retiree can submit a nomination of a college/school, department, division, or section for its efforts to maintain a strong relationship with its retirees. The nomination form is available below or from Human Resource Services, FREH. The nomination document should be no longer than five pages. Only material submitted by the nominator(s) will be considered. Nominations are due to PURA, c/o Human Resource Services, FREH, by February 1, 2014.
Further information can be found here . . .
As the local coordinator of the AARP TaxAide group, PURA member Bob Pierret is seeking volunteers to help with the preparation of tax returns at nine sites around the area located at the YWCA, Lafayette Senior Center, Morton Community Center, Fairington Apartments, Indiana Veterans Home, Salvation Army, Friendship House, Wabash Center, and the Brookston Library. The TaxAide program is geared to assist low to moderate income tax-payers, especially those 60 and older. However, we don’t turn away anyone with a return that can be completed in-scope. Volunteers are provided with detailed tax preparation information and five days of training in January. Tax returns are prepared beginning in February. Volunteers choose the level of their involvement.
For additional information, interested parties should contact Bob Pierret at (765) 463-7372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martin C. Jischke Scholarship Award recipient - Read more ...
Make a difference - Add Your Two Cents!
If you are interested in helping PURA grow the Jischke Purdue Opportunity Award (scholarship endowment) to support additional students, we invite you to send a check made payable to the Purdue Foundation (write Jischke POA on the memo line). Mail to:
On the "road to retirement"? Learn more here....
What Do You Do For Purdue?
Purdue retirees contribute to the University in many ways — through financial donations, and through their time volunteering in diverse places and positions. Some retirees continue professional activities after retirement.
PURA is conducting a survey to specify those activities that illustrate and document our involvement even after retirement. We welcome your input!
Examples — a few among many — are guest lecturing for courses, advising graduate students, volunteering at the Visitor Information Center, working in campus research labs, and editing and publishing professional journals and articles.
Please complete the information below and send it to Bob Bain, PURA's President, at the address below. Of course, if you volunteer in more than one way (and we know many of you do!) please include all your activities.
Department, School or College: _____________________________________________
Approximate hours/year: __________________________________________________
Are you compensated for this activity? _______________________________________
Send to email@example.com, or to Bob at 3724 Chancellor Way, West Lafayette IN 47906.