Latest News for Purdue Retirees
PURA Officers, 2014-2015
President, Dan Collins
Vice President, Olivia Bennett Wood
Secretary-Treasurer, Melinda Bain
Historian, Carolyn Jones
Past President, Robert Bain
Arthur G. Hansen Recognition Award Nominations Sought for 2014-15
The Arthur G. Hanson 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 PURA 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. Forms are available on-line at www.purdue.edu/retirees 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, 2015.
Purdue University Retirees Association Health Insurance Plans Renewed for 2015 with only a 5% premium increase
The Benefits Committee of the Purdue University Retirees Association (PURA) has renewed the PURcare and Medicare Advantage PPO Health Insurance Plans with UnitedHealthcare (UHC) for 2015. Negotiations produced an overall 5% increase in the premium for the PURcare plan (Senior Supplement with Vision benefit and Part D Prescription coverage) and a 5% increase in the premium for the Medicare Advantage PPO plan by overcoming some major price increases - from the continuing impact of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, subsidy reductions from Medicare, and a surge in prescription drug costs.
There will be no changes in benefits of either plan.
PURcare, the Purdue sponsored Senior Supplement plus Part D plan, participated in by over 2200 Purdue Retirees, will continue for 2015 with the same medical/vision and prescription drug benefits as in 2014. The rise in the premium for the PURcare plan was totally driven by increases in drug costs and a Center for Medicare Services (CMS) requirement, put into place in 2013, that compelled maximum copays for retail and mail order drugs. This requirement resulted in a significantly richer benefit for our member (lowering prescription costs for many drugs). This change coupled with the utilization of several new and very expensive specialty drugs, often used to treat cancer, has driven our drug utilization costs up significantly.
PURcare drug premiums for 2013-14 did not keep pace with these added costs; during these two years, premiums plus co-pays did not cover the costs of the drug plan. To pay for these added costs for 2015, the premium for prescription drugs would have increased by 40% without some concessions from UHC. UnitedHealthcare will absorb the increased costs they had for 2013 and 2014 due to our contract and have agreed to make concessions on the increase of premiums for 2015-2017. UHC agreed to make these allowances due to the fact that they did not inform us of the potential cost changes when we negotiated 2014 so that we could have prepared our members for this increase; the fact that our drug costs for previous years was lower than expected trend costs; and the fact that they desired to keep our business as we have been good customers.
Despite these concessions, the premium of $94.69 is a 16% increase. But when coupled with a 0% increase for the supplement premium of $181.53, the resulting overall premium increase will be 5% over 2014, well below the industry trends. The PURcare total premium for medical/vision and prescription coverage for 2015 will be $276.22/member/month.
Even with this increase, the rate is only $1.70 per month higher than the rates we had for 2012 and lower than the 2010 premium by $6.34. We can expect increases in the Part D premium for the next two years until the premium plus the co-pays cover for the costs of the plan.
Members with Rx coverage from the Veterans Administration - for 2015 the PURcare supplement-only premium will continue to be $181.53/member/month.
The Medicare Advantage PPO Plan will have the same medical and prescription benefits as in 2014 with no change in co-pays or the Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum of $3000. The reduction of Medicare subsidies to these plans nationwide due to the Affordable Care Act and the major increases in some drug costs is totally responsible for any increase in premiums. The 5% increase is well below the industry trend and remains a good buy for our members. The reduction of subsidy from Medicare started last year and will continue until the plans are not subsidized by Medicare in the year of 2020. Good news, Purdue Retirees residing in any of the 92 counties in Indiana are now eligible to participate in this plan.
For 2015, the premium will be $208.49/member/month.
New ID card for 2015 Medicare Advantage PPO
UnitedHealthcare is changing your plan number for 2015. This does not change your access to care. Members in this plan will receive a letter of explanation from UHC and a new 2015 member ID card.
Members enrolled in either of the retiree group plans who do not want to make a change: your coverage will automatically continue for 2015 – no re-enrollment. If you decide to terminate your Purdue Retiree group coverage for a non-Purdue plan, you will not be able to join again at a later time.
• The PURcare medical plan (UnitedHealthcare Senior Supplement), including vision care, will continue with the same benefits and with the same premium for 2015 of $181.53 per member per month as 2014. The medical premium has been down or stable for the past four years with the 2013 rate at $191.02 per member per month down from the $199.47 for 2012. We are really beating the national trend.
• The PURcare Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) continues with open formulary, no step therapy, and no “donut hole” for a rate of $94.69 per month per member. This means that any FDA approved drug prescribed by your doctor is covered. The reasons for the increase were explained earlier in this document. With these changes the committee found that the rates are very competitive when all costs are considered.
• For 2015 your share of prescription drug costs will remain at 50% for local pharmacies and 45% for mail orders with maximum co-pays. True-Out-of-Pocket maximum costs will be $4,550, which represents the Medicare-determined amount for the Standard Medicare Part D catastrophic threshold. Once this threshold is reached, prescription drugs are covered at 100% for the remainder of the year.
• Annual deductible for hospital/medical treatments 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.
Special Notes from the Benefits Committee on frequently asked questions:
1. Medicare does not cover medical costs when you travel outside the US, but PURcare does. Please read information on this coverage in materials that you will receive from United Healthcare.
2. Most providers of vision care services do not file for insurance payments, so it is up to the member to file, utilizing the form provided by UnitedHealthcare. We recommend that you file your own claim even if the provider offers to file for you. If you have questions contact Kate LaMar.
3. While Medicare pays for many Home Health Care services, PURcare coverage provides an additional $5,000 per year for coverage of doctor-prescribed services. Please read the UHC material for more information or call Kate LaMar in Purdue Human Resources for assistance.
4. Females: Screening for cervical and vaginal cancers, including Pap tests and pelvic exams, are covered by Medicare Part B once every 24 months. Bone density tests are also covered by Medicare Part B once every 24 months, and mammograms are covered once every 12 months. Please check the time from your last procedure to make sure you are eligible. Males: PSA blood tests and digital rectal exams are covered by Medicare Part B once every 12 months. In each case, participants should make sure their doctors code the test correctly.
Veteran Administration Eligible Members:
For 2015, the PURcare medical-only premium will be $181.53 per month.
New UHC Account Executive representing UHC and continued service of Health Insurance Consultants:
The Benefits Committee worked with a new United Healthcare Account Executive, Lynn Groff, during the negotiation process. Lynn was very responsive to requests for data and information on a timely basis and was assisted by Vice President Greta Redmon in our discussions. 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 and Rich Yurkowitz were of great assistance with the process. We appreciate the support of Purdue Human Resources in making this service available.
Purdue Human Resources Support Continues:
PURA members continue to receive outstanding support from Purdue Human Resources. We specifically rely on secretarial help from Michele Salla. 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.
Wow! Does Cordova Recreational Sports Center have great deals for you!
With eligiblity for Silver Sneakers on the PURA healthcare program, you can exercise at Co-Rec virtually any time the building is open! No additional charge!
For the modest sum of $20 a semester, those who have Group X, Limited Retiree Pass, can participate in many classes that happen before 2 PM on weekdays or any time on weekends. These classes are particularly recommended for senior users:
If you would like to have access to all Group X classes (there are over 70/week) a $45 pass will give you access to additional classes in meditation, restorative yoga and yoga foundations.
To use the Cordova Recreational Sports Center as a Silversneakers PURA Health Insurance participant, either take your current Silversneakers card plus your Purdue ID, or, if you do not have a Silversneakers card, take your PURA United Healthcare medical card and your Purdue ID to the registration desk to get instructions on using the facility. If you do not have a Purdue ID, take a photo ID with you and the registration desk will put you in the system.
Monday Luncheon Series
We hope you will join us at the MCL Cafeteria in West Lafayette on November 3, 2014. You will have an opportunity to visit with friends and to learn about the new Energy Center at Purdue's Discovery Park from Maureen McCann. Lunch is available from 11:00 a.m., and the program begins at 11:50 in the Purdue Room.