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Benefits/Health Insurance

Helpful Medicare/Supplement Coverage Information

    Prescription Drugs Administered While in the Hospital

    Hospital Inpatient Admission or Observation - Does it Make a Difference?

Helpful End of Life Planning Information

    Recap & Slides from Nov. 2018 PURA “Planning for Your Future” Seminar 

    Planning and Managing End of Life Issues: Open Letter to Retirees

    What to Do When a Loved One Passes Away-A Survivor's Checklist

    Organizing My Affairs

    Organizing My Affairs - An Update

    Purdue University Retiree's Association Helpful Contact Information

PURA Health Insurance News

    Insurance Coverage for the Shingles Shot 

    PURA Health Insurance Plans Renewed for 2019

    Voluntary Preventive Retiree Dental Plan for Retirees Over Age 65: 2017

    Insurance Assistance to Official Retirees Under Age 65 Now Available

    PURA Health Insurance PAST DUE PREMIUMS and
      TERMINATION POLICY effective September 1, 2015

    Paying Your Insurance Premiums

    Guidelines utilized in selecting retiree health insurance plans and provider

Other PURA Health Benefits

    December 2018 Silver Sneakers Benefit Program Update 

Silver Sneakers fitness program

    Purdue Aphasia Support Group Meets Monthly

    Who may use Purdue Center for Healthy Living Services

    PURCare Benefit Plan Vision Coverage

    Learn more about the "Road to Retirement"

Benefits Contacts

    PURA Benefits Committee purpose and contact information

    Purdue Human Resources support/contact information for retiree health/benefits questions

Prescription Drugs Administered While in the Hospital

In the event that an individual on the PURcare plan (Senior Supplement + Part D) is admitted to the hospital as an inpatient, Medicare Part A will pay for all drugs that are received, including self-administered drugs.  “Self-administered drugs” are drugs prescribed by a doctor prior to entering the hospital that you would normally take on your own.   The only responsibility of the plan participant will be that of their typical cost share for the inpatient hospital stay. 

A retiree enrolled in the Group Medicare Advantage plan who is admitted as an inpatient will pay only their Hospital per-day copayment; self-administered drugs will be covered.

When a member of the PURcare plan is kept in the hospital on an observation basis, payments for the medical services would be covered under Medicare Part B, which does not cover self-administered drugs under any circumstance.

Under observation, the plan member in PURcare or the Medicare Advantage plan will be billed for self-administered drugs and will be expected to pay the hospital. The member must file a claim for reimbursement under their Part D prescription drug plan.  The Part D plan will reimburse the member on an out-of-network basis which will put all the prescription drugs in a Tier 3 level cost share or copay. The plan will only reimburse the cost of the drug up to an amount that is comparable to a contracted rate; any difference between the charged amount and the reimbursed amount will be the responsibility of the plan member.

Contact the UnitedHealthcare Customer Service number on the back of your Part D or Medicare Advantage ID card to ask for the “Direct Member Reimbursement Form” for prescription reimbursement.  If you have questions or problems, please contact Kate LaMar, Human Resources, at klamar@purdue.edu or (765) 494-1694.

Hospital Inpatient admission or Observation - Does it Make a Difference?

Yes!  The inpatient or observation status of the patient affects Medicare and supplement insurance payments to the hospital, to skilled nursing or rehabilitation facilities, and for prescription drugs.  Administrative personnel at Lafayette area hospitals, St. Elizabeth East Hospital and IU-Arnett Hospital, responsible for compliance with Medicare rules provided the following information. A hospital’s failure to comply with Medicare rules can result in the hospital not being reimbursed for services and possible fines.

Inpatient admitted status is covered by Medicare Part A.  Observation status is covered by Medicare Part B.  Currently the hospital is reimbursed $4400 a day for Part A inpatient admission and $400 a day for observation.  Insurance coverage with PURcare and other Medicare supplement plans and different Medicare Advantage plans varies depending on the plan. 

Important information for you or an advocate to remember when you or a loved one is hospitalized:

  • You should select an advocate before you enter the hospital to speak for you and ask questions in case you cannot.
  • The admitting physician determines whether the patient is admitted as an “inpatient” or admitted “for observation”.
  • Observation—the admitting physician believes the problem can be resolved in less than a 2 midnights stay.  If not resolved in 2 midnights, the status may be changed to inpatient.  However, this does not happen automatically. 
  • Inpatient Admission—the admitting physician believes 3 or more midnights and specialized treatment or care is needed.
  • A patient is not necessarily told whether he/she is admitted as an inpatient or under observation.  The patient or the advocate must ask.
  • The physician’s decision on inpatient admission or observation status is reviewed by a case management team to insure that Medicare rules are met.  If more information is needed, a hospitalist or a specialist’s opinion may be sought.  Medicare rules state that observation status cannot be appealed.  However, one hospital administrator suggested talking to the case management nurse if there are questions about the patient’s observation status.
  • After outpatient surgery certain conditions may warrant further outpatient observation.  Depending of care needed, the patient or advocate must ask whether the status is observation or inpatient admission.
  • There is no Medicare coverage for prescription costs when in observation status.  The prescription bill must be paid by the patient.  The patient can then file a claim with his/her Part D prescription plan for reimbursement.  The claim may or may not be paid depending on the insurance policy.
  • A patient must have inpatient admission status over 3 midnights to be eligible for Medicare to cover a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility stay.  Medicare covers up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility when meeting Medicare requirements. 
    •  PURcare Senior Supplement coverages continue for day 101 and beyond, if the patient continues to meet Medicare requirements.
    • Medicare Advantage plans do not have a 3 midnight inpatient requirement to be eligible for a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility.  Coverage is provided up to 100 days if the patient continues to meet Medicare requirements.

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Recap & Slides from Nov. 2018 PURA “Planning for Your Future” Seminar 

Organized by PURA’s Program Committee, the “Planning for Your Future” seminar, held on November 26, attracted more than 140 Purdue retirees and retirees-to-be for an informative afternoon.

Included was important advice about financial and health care issues, senior living options, and more, featuring local experts sharing their expertise on issues which all senior citizens face as they age, including these, and more.

  • Medical & legal powers of attorney, wills and trusts and related tax implications.
  • The impact of the new tax law on income and other taxes, possible adjustments to financial planning; the benefits of planned giving and/or donating stocks to charities.
  • Having enough income to live comfortably.
  • Services that can be provided by home healthcare agencies to help seniors remain in their homes permanently.
  • Costs of the various care options, and how they impact seniors’ estates.

Evaluations from those in attendance were overwhelmingly positive and generated discussion about repeating this content in future years. With our ever-changing economy, new medical research, the rising cost of prescription drugs and other issues, there certainly will be new information to share. With seminars such as this, the Purposeful Living in Retirement program in the spring, and programs at PURA’s monthly luncheon meetings, we’ll do our best to keep everyone up-to-date.

If you were unable to attend, slides from the seminar may be downloaded here.

Insurance Coverage for the Shingles Shot 

Shingles vaccinations are covered under the PURcare and PURA Medicare Advantage Medicare Supplement Plans as drugs at a Tier 2 (Preferred Brand) copay. Therefore, the Shingles vaccine copay is at the 50% coinsurance level with the $45.00 maximum copay allowed under the plan. In addition, United Healthcare will reimburse up to $20.00 for the administrative fee associated with the administration of the medication.

There are two Shingles vaccines available. Zostavax is a one-time injection. A newer vaccine, called Shingrix, is a two-step injection, typically administered two to six months apart. The applicable fees, as outlined above, apply. For Shingrix, the fees are applied to each injection.

Pharmacies are offering the Shingles vaccine, although at the current time there is a limited quantity. Until supply catches up to demand, it may be necessary to be placed on a waiting list.

Reminder: if you have not gotten your flu shot, it is not too late. (PURA Benefits Committee)

PURA Health Insurance Plans Renewed for 2019

PURA’s Benefits Committee has renewed the PURcare and Medicare Advantage PPO group health insurance plans with United Healthcare (UHC) for 2019. As in the past, the objective was to maintain the very best medical and drug insurance plans, at the lowest premium possible, while preserving your ability to see the Medicare provider of your choice.

Your committee is pleased to announce the following monthly premiums for 2019: PURcare (UHC Senior Supplement plus Part D prescription plan) $265.39/member. UHC Medicare Advantage PPO (including Part D prescription plan) $208.49/member

The 2019 monthly PURcare premium is a decrease of $17.34 from the 2018 monthly premium, a saving of 6.1% per month. Historically, the PURcare premium (per member per month) has been:

Plan Year

Monthly Premium











For PURcare members with prescription coverage from the Veteran’s Administration, the 2019 supplement-only monthly premium will be $181.62/member, a decrease of $6.99 (3.7%).

The 2019 premium for the Medicare Advantage PPO Plan remains unchanged. This premium has remained constant since 2015. There will be no change to Hospital and Medical co-pays or the Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum.

There have been only minor changes to the benefits provided by either plan for 2019. In order to comply with new guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will announce changes to 2019 prescription drug plans to better address the utilization of opioid medications. UHC will mail the required Annual Notice of Change with these and other details.

The PURA Benefits Committee’s goal for the future is to continue to provide outstanding group health insurance plans while maintaining stability in monthly premiums.

If you are currently enrolled in either of the plans, PURcare or Medicare Advantage PPO, and you do not want to make a change, no action is required. Your coverage will automatically continue for 2019. Re-enrollment is not required!

If you elect to terminate your PURA group coverage for a non-PURA plan, you will not be permitted to rejoin at a later time.

PURA members continue to receive outstanding support from Purdue Human Resources. PURA’s plans support a portion of the cost of these staff. Please contact Kate LaMar with questions at klamar@purdue.edu or (765) 494-1694.

Insurance Assistance to Official Retirees Under Age 65 Now Available

October – and open medical insurance enrollment – are just around the corner.  With that in mind, now is a good time to start thinking about your insurance needs and choices for the upcoming year.

Purdue University, in partnership with the Purdue University Retirees Association and the Henriott Group, Inc., has arranged assistance for official Purdue retirees under the age of 65 and not yet eligible for Medicare, to help you understand your health insurance options in retirement.

The Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Exchange), created as part of the Affordable Care Act, offers health insurance options to ensure everyone in the United States has access to affordable health care.

It is likely that some number of Purdue retirees would be eligible for a premium tax credit (also known as a subsidy) to assist with the cost of healthcare through the Marketplace.  There are several plans available and it can be difficult to find a well-matched plan. That’s where Henriott comes in.  They are knowledgeable and experienced in helping you shop for a plan that best suits your needs.

During Purdue’s annual open enrollment period (beginning in late October) the Henriott Group will be ready to assist you as a Purdue retiree to review coverage options for you and your covered dependents who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

Purdue University and PURA are pleased to be able to offer this assistance, and we encourage you to review your options for 2017.

More specific information will be shared in the upcoming months via PURA News.  In addition, retirees under the age of 65 currently enrolled in a Purdue medical plan will receive information directly from Purdue University in their annual open enrollment brochure.

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Effective September 1, 2015

The Purdue University Retirees Association (PURA) Benefits Committee and Purdue University Human Resources desired to have in place a member eligibility for enrollment and continuation in any Health Insurance Plan offered by PURA and a termination policy  to govern members with 90 days of past due health insurance premiums. Due to various reasons some of our members have not been able to keep current on their premium payments to UnitedHealthcare. The Benefits Committee of PURA working with UnitedHealthcare has developed such a policy effective September 1, 2015. Under the Affordable Care Act UHC can’t terminate a member’s insurance without a policy supported by the sponsoring group.

Eligibility and Enrollment- All official retirees of Purdue University (55 years of age with 10 or more years of service) and their spouse who are Medicare eligible may enroll in Health Insurance Options offers by the Purdue Retirees Association (PURA) in partnership with Purdue University.

All individuals desiring health insurance through one of the PURA plans must individually enroll in the selected plan through the designated staff of Purdue Human Resources.

All members of any PURA sponsored health insurance plan must pay their premiums on the schedule set forth by United Healthcare (UHC).

Involuntary Termination Policy: 

All members of any plan must pay their premiums to UHC on a schedule determined by UHC. Failure to pay premiums will result in the member receiving a past due invoice.

Members who disagree with UHC on any past due premiums by reason of payments made and not recorded or others reasons for disagreement of payment due will have an appeal process to resolve such disagreements.

Failure to pay premiums will result in the forfeiture of eligibility and termination from the plan. No action will be taken to terminate coverage during the first 60 days of delinquency (grace period).

At the end of 90 days of past due premiums, (equivalent of three months of total premiums due) if the member has not responded to the past due invoice by making a full payment of past due amounts, a letter will be sent by UHC indicating that the members coverage will be terminated due to no longer meeting the eligibility requirements for the Purdue/PURA sponsored health insurance.

This letter will be sent at least 21 days prior to the effective termination date to provide the member opportunity to purchase another plan so that they will not have a gap in coverage.

Claims with a date of service provided after the specified termination date will not be considered for payment by UHC. Claims with a valid date of service provided prior to the termination date will be adjudicated and paid according to the plan benefits.

Voluntary Termination: Voluntary termination will result from death of the member, member ineligibility due to moving out-side the United States or by cancellation of the policy at the end of a calendar year. Voluntary termination does not remove the member’s obligation to pay premiums until the time of termination.

Special Note: Members who have past due premiums of 60 or more days prior to the implementation of this policy will be contacted by the Purdue Human Resources Department to work out a plan for each member, if they desire to continue health insurance through PURA.

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Benefits Committee

The Benefits Committee monitors the medical plans for retirees, evaluates changes, and investigates alternatives where advantages may be gained.

A key part of the execution of this committee's responsibilities is through the support provided by the Purdue University Human Resource Services department that handles the communication, gathers additional vital data, and provides a focal point for problem resolution.

The committee also strives to keep retirees aware of additional University benefits and privileges and promotes program improvements where possible.

Questions concerning the PURA health care plan should be sent to Don Gentry, Chair, at dkgentry@purdue.edu

Purdue retirees and spouses are eligible for membership to this or any other PURA committee. Appointments are for a three-year term with membership limited to six consecutive years (two three-year terms). Anyone interested in joining this or any other committee should contact the committee chair.

Guidelines Utilized by the PURA Benefits Committee In Selecting a Health Insurance Plans and Provider

Medicare Senior Supplement Plan (PURcare):

  • Any Senior Supplement plan and provider of the insurance must be able to serve our PURA members wherever they live.
  • The plan must give complete freedom for the member to select any doctor or provider of health services that accept Medicare patients.
  • The plan must cover medical and prescription drugs.
  • Any prescription drug plan must cover any legal drug prescribed by a doctor.
  • The insurance company must have a good reputation for service in the industry.
  • The plan must cover emergency healthcare services while the member is traveling outside the United States.
  • The plan must have a market competitive premium with the lowest possible annual deductible rate and with no or very low co-pays or other out-of-pocket costs to the member.
  • The plan must be comprehensive with marketing advantages over off the shelf plans provided by the insurance company.

Medicare Advantage or Preferred Provider Organization Plan

  • The Plan and provider of the insurance should be able to serve our PURA members wherever they live in the State of Indiana.
  • The plan must cover medical and prescription drugs.
  • The insurance company must have a good reputation for service in the industry.
  • The plan must have a market competitive premium with competitive co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs to the member.
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Retirees Benefits Committee Update

Paying Your Insurance Premiums

Members of PURA Health Insurance plans may pay their premiums for the entire year, pay by the month or use automatic monthly bank debits for the premium payments, known as Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). EFT is highly recommended as a reliable and convenient way to make your premium payments. A member can change their method of payment anytime throughout the year. A large number of our members use this method and have experienced no problems. If you are interested in making a change in your payment method, contact Kate LaMar at 765-494-1694.

Purdue Human Resources Support

PURA members continue to receive outstanding support from Purdue Human Resources. Our support person for health insurance is Kate LaMar. Please email or phone Kate with questions at klamar@purdue.edu or 765-494-1694. Any questions related to PURA activities, updating your contact information (mailing address, email address) please phone or email Michele Salla at masalla@purdue.edu or 765-494-1779.

Purdue HR Retirees Status and Privileges Policy

December 2018 Silver Sneakers Benefit Program Update 

December 2018 Silver Sneakers Benefit Program Update You may have heard that some who have Medicare supplement plans through United Healthcare are losing their access to the Silver Sneakers program. Silver Sneakers provides broad access to fitness facilities on a no-charge basis.

First, be assured that PURA members who are enrolled in the PURcare and PURA Medicare Advantage Medicare Supplement Plans will continue to have access, through Silver Sneakers, to their fitness facilities through December 31, 2019.

For January 1, 2020 and thereafter, Silver Sneakers availability will be subject to the PURA Benefits Committee’s discussions and negotiations with United Healthcare. The PURA Benefits Committee is aware that United Healthcare is shifting some of their insureds to another program managed by a different company owned by United Healthcare. Some of the AARP/United Healthcare plans are being shifted to this new program effective January 1, 2019.

Your Benefits Committee has been vocal in expressing PURA’S concern with this shift. While we cannot guarantee that we will be able to retain the Silver Sneakers program for those utilizing the PURcare and PURA Medicare Advantage plans, the Committee is making retention a high priority. If there must be a transition, every effort will be made to make the transition as seamless and transparent as possible.

The Benefits Committee will keep you informed during the upcoming months as new information becomes available.

SilverSneakers Fitness Program

A UnitedHealthcare Benefit for PURcare and Medicare Advantage PPO Retirees

SilverSneakers is a fun, energizing program that helps older adults take greater control of their health by encouraging physical activity and offering social events. SilverSneakers provides a fitness center membership to any participating location across the country. You can join a center close to where you live or at any participating location while you’re traveling.

Benefits Include:

  • Access to conditioning classes, exercise equipment, pools, sauna and other available amenities in participating centers
  • Customized classes
  • Health education seminars
  • Specially trained Program Advisors at fitness centers

Cordova Recreational Sports Center Open For Silversneakers

The wait is over! All PURA Health Insurance participants are now eligible to use the Cordova Recreational Sports Center at no charge.

To use the Cordova Recreational Sports Center either take your current Silversneakers card plus your Purdue ID, or, if you do not have a Silversneaker card, take you 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.

PURA and its over 2500 Health Insurance members participants are most appreciative to Purdue University and particularly thank Howard Taylor, Director of the CRSC for making this benefit available to our members.

Would you like to know more about SilverSneakers? 

To check out the benefits and locations, visit the web site, www.silversneakers.com .

Participating Fitness Centers in the Lafayette/West Lafayette Area:

  • Cordova Recreational Sports Center, Purdue University
  • Lyles-Porter Hall, northwest corner of Harrison & University Streets, West Lafayette
  • Club Newtone, 725 Sagamore Pkwy N., Lafayette
  • Lafayette Family YMCA, 1950 S. 18th St., Lafayette
  • Snap Fitness – Lafayette, 3830 State Rd. 26 E., Lafayette
  • Snap Fitness – West Lafayette, 2060 US 52, West Lafayette
  • Curves (women only), 441 Sagamore Pkwy., West Lafayette
  • Curves (women only), 2200 Elmwood Ave., Lafayette
  • Curves (women only), 3613 18th St., Lafayette
How do I start?

To participate or to just take a tour, take your UnitedHealthcare Medical Insurance card to a location of your choice.

If you are a member or want to see if you are eligible, please call:

Toll-free: 888-423-4632, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST.
E-mail:  silversneakerswebcontact@healthways.com

Purdue Aphasia Group Meets Monthly 

Stroke is the second leading cause of mortality worldwide, and the major cause of long-term disability in adults. In Indiana, being firmly situated in the 'Stroke Belt', there is a higher incidence of stroke than in the rest of the nation (according to the Kentucky Indiana Stroke Association).

One of the persisting disabilities of stroke patients is the loss of communication abilities (aphasia), affecting all modalities of communication including one's ability to speak, to comprehend, to read, and/or to write. Research evidence shows that persons with aphasia continue to improve their communication skills with continued participation in communication-based activities and interactions—even years post-stroke—significantly improving their quality of life.

The Purdue Aphasia Research Laboratory is working to better understand how persons with aphasia process information during listening and speaking, and to identify factors and conditions that maximize re-learning of language. Persons who have had a stroke resulting in aphasia are invited to participate in our research.

Participation in the Laboratory’s research is free of charge and a comprehensive language evaluation is completed prior to participating. If interested, please contact them by email at aphasia@purdue.edu, on their website, https://www.purdue.edu/hhs/slhs/aphasia/, or by phone at 765-496-0216.

The Purdue Aphasia Support Group meets once a month and strives to be a comfortable setting for guided conversation practice for people with aphasia and their caregivers. The focus is on social activities as well as informational topics. If you have aphasia, please consider attending this support group, typically on the first Tuesday of the month, from 6:30-8:00 pm, on Purdue’s campus. For more information, please see the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PurdueAphasiaGroup, or call 765-496-0216.

Retirees on Purdue Health Plan, Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 1 or Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 2 Can Use Center for Healthy Living

Purdue’s new Center for Healthy Living opened Feb. 27 in the Purdue West Shopping Center at 1400 W. State St. The center serves benefits-eligible employees, retirees and their dependents covered on the Purdue Health Plan, Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 1 or Purdue Health Plan Plus HSA 2 medical plans. Retirees must be covered by one of these three medical plans to be eligible to use the center. Retirees 65 and over with United Healthcare (PURcare and Medicare Advantage PPO) are not eligible to use the services of the Center for Healthy Living at this time.

For more information about the center, including services, costs and hours, visit www.purdue.edu/healthyliving. For questions, call the center at 765-494-0111 or contact Purdue Human Resources at 765-494-2222.


Are you concerned about Medical and Prescription Drug Insurance after you retire?

As you plan for your retirement the decision you make on Supplemental Medical and Prescription Drug health insurance will be one of your most important decisions.  There are lots of choices and if you are healthy now you may be tempted to buy the cheapest available plan.  However, we suggest that you consider that as you grow older your medical and drug needs will most likely increase—maybe exponentially.  The old adage of “pay me now or pay me later” applies here. Find out more about the Purdue retiree's group insurance plan, PURcare, here.

For more information for Purdue retirees visit
Purdue University's Human Resources' Benefit webpage.

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