Information for SVCS Retirees

  • Your Retiree Contact:

    Kelly Johnson, District Treasurer
    (315) 495-4445 
    kjohnson@stockbridgevalley.org
     
    EXCELLUS BC/BS HAS A DEDICATED CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM THAT MANAGES STOCKBRIDGE VALLEY'S HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN.  FOR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR HEALTH & PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS, CALL THE PHONE NUMBER LOCATED ON THE BACK OF YOUR INSURANCE CARD.
     
    Q &A on Medicare Eligibility
    What happens when I turn 65? 
    Approximately 3 months before your 65th birthday, you will receive your Medicare card from the federal government automatically enrolling you in both Part A & Part B.   You can opt out of Part B, but it is not a wise choice.
     
    What is the difference between Part A & Part B?

    Part A covers in-patient hospital and skilled nursing facility expenses (room & board); Part B covers medical expenses for medically necessary services and treatments related to illness and disease - doctor visits, ambulances, diagnostic tests and medical equipment (outpatient). 

     

    If you are no longer actively working, Medicare will become your PRIMARY insurance.  Any medical or hospital expenses you incur will be run thru your Medicare insurance first, what isn't covered will be picked up by your school insurance.

    If you are age 65 and still actively working - the school's insurance remains as your primary insurer.   All health expenses will run through your school plan first. Your Medicare Part B plan becomes the secondary carrier picking up whatever eligible expenses are left. If you do not have Part B, those expenses not covered by your school plan could potentially end up coming out of your pocket. Once you retire from active employment, the opposite occurs. Medicare becomes the primary insurance carrier and your school insurance becomes the secondary plan.  An important consideration:  The cost of Part B goes up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B but didn't sign up for it.  Premiums for Part B are automatically deducted from your monthly Social Security check.

    If I am fully enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B, is keeping my school insurance necessary?

    Again, in the day and age of skyrocketing health care, no one wants to pay out of pocket for health care expenses. Keeping your school insurance is a personal choice, but we urge you to carefully consider your present and future health needs before making any drastic changes to your coverage.  The value of the prescription drug coverage that you get with your school insurance is something we urge our retirees to consider before canceling your policy.  Most current Medicare plans have prescription limits ("donut holes") where you would have to pay for prescriptions until an out-of-pocket limit is met.  It is important for you to know that should you opt out of the school's insurance program as a retiree, the District is not necessarily mandated to allow you to rejoin the plan.

    Do I need to enroll in a Medicare Presciption Drug Plan?

    No.  You currently have prescription drug coverage thru your school insurance.  We believe the prescription drug plan thru the school is equal to, if not better, than what Medicare can offer you.  Your school insurance is a comprehensive plan so your prescription drug coverage is included in your yearly premium cost.  To be clear, however, there is no separate option available to buy only prescription drug coverage through the school district. 

    As I approach 65, what does SVCS need from me to avoid an interruption of coverage?   
    Its very important that you forward me a copy of your new Medicare card as soon as you receive it and follow thru with any instructions given by Medicare and Excellus/Blue Cross Blue Shield.  I will fill out the necessary paperwork notifying Excellus that you are now covered by Medicare.  This notification will avoid any potential coverage issues between the two plans therefore a copy of your Medicare card is critical.  Please mail to my attention at SVCS, P.O. Box 732, Munnsville, New York 13409.

    Where do I get more information on the Medicare program?  

    You can call the toll-free helpline at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Information is also available on the web at www.Medicare.gov. Please feel free to me at (315) 495-4445 with your questions.
     
     
    HELPFUL LINKS:
     
     
    When are Payments for Retiree Health Insurance due? 
     
    Once the Health Board sets the rates for retiree insurance, I will generate and mail an invoice for you by June 1st.  If you have any changes in the elections you have made, you must notify my office as soon as possible.  The following schedule indicates due dates for quarterly health insurance premiums.  **Please note that premium payments are accepted anytime prior to those dates.  For your convenience, you may also pay an entire year's premiums in advance and eliminate the need for additional payments throughout the year. 

    1st Quarter (7/1-9/30): Due by July 15, 2019

    2nd Quarter (10/1-12/31): Due by October 15, 2019

    3rd Quarter(1/1-3/31): Due by January 15, 2020

    4th Quarter (4/1-6/30): Due by April 15, 2020

    If you have any questions, concerns or need the balance remaining on your account, please call the SVCS Business Office (315) 495-4445

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