Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Adventures in governance
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Adventures in governance

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013

* Blogger and retired teacher Fred Klonsky is not at all pleased with the way the state is rolling out the new Medicare Advantage program. Reprinted in full with permission

The deadline for deciding what our retiree health care will look like – whether we go with Medicare Advantage or op out – is December 13th.

Central Management Services is co-sponsoring informational seminars across the state between November 11th and December 11th.

The one for retirees who live in Chicago is at the Thompson Center on December 6th.

That gives me seven days to figure out what I will do. And if I opt out I can’t get back in. And all the money I paid into the plan over thirty years is gone.

For good.

Seven days.

If you live in Belleville the seminar is at Southwest Community College on December 11th.

That will allow you one day to decide.

One day.

If you live in the north suburbs of Chicago you can attend a seminar on the far north side. Or Palatine.

That’s it. It is an area in which thousands of Illinois teacher retirees live.

More seminars are being held downstate. But teachers tell me that in some cases they will have to drive more than two hours each way to attend one.

CMS is willing to set up additional seminars if we pay for them.

Over $300 bucks a pop.

And we find the space.

Fred’s a pretty informed guy, but he does have a point about everybody else.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Cassiopeia - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Yep, another “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan “.

    CMS is being allowed to do this to just save money and it has gotten most Medicare-eligible retirees pretty upset. They don’t seem to care about how it will effect people.


  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    Yeah, that’s pretty messed up. What’s with the procrastination?


  3. - Norseman - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 12:00 pm:

    What I’m hearing among informed retirees is that the administration waited to pass legislation that would eliminate COGFA review of the contract awards so they could cut Health Alliance out of the process. As we saw from last weeks hearing, COGFA members were all over the poor decision to disqualify Health Alliance. This time, COGFA has no power to do anything.


  4. - x ace - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    Injunction Time


  5. - Rochester Retiree - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    For a 16 page “TRAIL Decision Guide” that includes premium, deductible, and copayment information for the new Illinois Retiree Medicare Advantage Plan:

    1. Go to www.cms.illinois.gov

    2. Under “For Employees”, select: Employee and Retiree Benefits

    3. The select: The Trail - Medicare Advantage Program

    4. The select: State of Illinois Medicare Retirees & Survivors (or select TRIP or CIP option if you are a retiree in on of those plans)

    5. In the “Latest News” box, select: TRAIL Decision Guide

    6. Download the pdf file


  6. - Former State Employee - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    Thanks for the info, Rochester Retiree, but there are a number of retirees who 1) don’t know of or follow this website (sorry,Rich), and 2) don’t know how to operate a computer beyond maybe one click. I’m talking elderly!


  7. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    In the guide, the county coverage is on page 8, the plan coverage / deductible comparison numbers are on page 11, the “less than 20 years” premium schedule is on page 12, and the dependent cost comparison is on page 13.


  8. - Rochester Retiree - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 12:55 pm:

    Former State Employee…

    I completely agree. I know several elderly retirees that are completely confused by the changes and why.

    CMS has done a terrible job in communicating with retirees. But even if communication had been good, I am afraid many elderly retirees might lose their State insurance simply due to confusion and not filing the needed paperwork accurately and on time. And to think many of the really elderly retirees are going to get out and attend a seminar is just wishful thinking.

    In the 1st transition year, CMS should have defaulted retirees and dependents to the PPO plan unless they elected to enroll in an HMO. At least that way they would have been sure retirees would not lose their insurance simply due to confusion or timing.


  9. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 1:17 pm:

    I think this administration dislikes retirees a lot more than they get credit for.


  10. - Rochester Retiree - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 1:17 pm:

    The Health Alliance conspiracy theory is interesting to listen to. But, the conspiracy theory I hear a lot is that the State actually wants retirees to leave the State’s Insurance Program. Thus, the late information and poor communication may be part of a grand design plan to that end.


  11. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 1:19 pm:

    Former State Employee @ 12:46 pm:

    I agree. Both my mother and and mother-in-law are 90+ and don’t use computers any more.

    I’ve been talking to both of them off and on for a couple of months and they are still somewhat confused. Some their retired friends don’t have a clue and are totally mis-informed.

    For better or worse, they are depending on me to make the right choice for them … so I have to stay on top of this along with a half dozen other critical items goign on in my life.


  12. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    Rochester Retiree @ 1:17 pm:

    I can’t say that CMS wants the retirees totally off but in the public forums I attended, they were crystal clear the last couple of years they wanted the retirees off Quality Care.


  13. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    I’m always ready to criticize CMS, but I feel I must say one thing in their defense. The State December deadline is being driven by the Federal Medicare deadline, so if CMS is going to implement the Advantage programs “this” year, it has to be done by then. Otherwise it would have had to wait until next December.

    Having said that, this rush job is a complete mess.


  14. - Joe M - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    The information in the Trail Decision Guide is helpful, but what is missing at this point is who are the providers participating in each plan.

    Of course for quite a few of the counties, I guess it doesn’t make much difference, as they only have one choice to choose from anyway - UnitedHealthcare Group Medicare Advantage PPO (UHC PPO)

    Something is wrong when some counties have a choice of up to 4 plans, where many others only have a choice of 1.


  15. - flea - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    CMS= can’t manage —-. you fill in the blank


  16. - Menardian - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    I’ve used Health Alliance in the past, liked it a lot, wish HA was among the included providers, agree with the conspiracy theorists on this point.

    But there’s another way to look at it. For retired teachers, at least, the Medicare Advantage plans still are a really good deal. Medicare-eligible TRIP recipients this year are paying $76 monthly (plus $105 for Medicare Part B). Next year, in Sangamon County, the monthly Med Advantage premium will be either $36 or $48, depending on which plan accepts your providers. (Not sure which does? Look it up on line. Or call your provider. This part isn’t that tough, sorry.)

    I know state gov’t retirees are still getting used to the idea they will have to pay premiums. I sympathize, really I do. But some of the complaints above are red herrings. Life’s complicated. Deal with it.


  17. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 3:07 pm:

    I haven’t dug that deep into the guide yet. Has anyone figured out exactly how this will affect a non-coordinated SERS retiree who already has to pay for Part A Medicare?


  18. - BehindTheScenes - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    I’m still waiting for the Supreme Court to decide if those six little words in the Constitution “shall not be diminished or infringed” actually mean something. When I retired at the end of 2002, a large part of the reason was the guarantee that I would not pay a premium for coverage for the rest of my life.


  19. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 4:12 pm:

    BehindTheScenes @ 3:45 pm:

    Realistically, we may be waiting a while past December to see the end of that case (Maag, etc.). There were a number of issues and a lot of testimony that was outside the scope of the actual appeal. If you assume the ISC finds a contract might exist or should exist unless there is clear written proof to the contrary (pretty much the finding in the Marconi case at appellate level), then the case most likely goes back to the trial level for determination if such written documentation did exist, or whether the change is a violation of the contract, or even if the change is allowed under the contract, if the pension clause applies. If the case is returned without “guidance” from the ISC, I can see it possibly dragging out a couple more years of rulings and appeals over these points.


  20. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 13 @ 10:43 pm:

    Spent some time tonight digesting the slightly different versions of the TRAIL guide for TRS, SURS and SERS. Fred’s overall analysis is spot on for TRS and apparently SURS but he is only partially right for the other systems.

    He is correct that TRS - TRIP/TIP & SURS retirees who opt out normally won’t be able to opt back in (see page 7 of the teacher and college guides).

    However, SERS retirees, if they opt out now, can chose to opt back in during the choice period in the fall of 2014 for the 2015 plan year (again page 7 of the state employee guide).

    It isn’t totally clear since they don’t have seperate TRAIL guides, but I THINK that GARS and JRS follow the same opt out / opt in rules as SERS.


  21. - Jechislo - Friday, Nov 1, 13 @ 8:19 am:

    Thanks to the Union and Quinn, the retirees get dumped on again.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Next week's House session cancelled
* *** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker "Did Chris Kennedy Just Endorse Bruce Rauner?" - Kennedy campaign tries to explain *** Kennedy says Rauner "should be applauded" for "trying to do what he thinks is best for the state of Illinois"
* Sen. Donne Trotter retires
* Illinois payrolls were up just 0.5 percent last year
* Vitriol continues in Durkin's primary race
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Judge clears courtroom in Rauner lawsuit hearing
* You can't "fully inform" voters without money
* State agrees to a $400 million consent decree
* Rate Prizker's new online ad
* Rauner gets another property tax press pop
* Emanuel pokes Rauner over Amazon comments
* Rauner's new Pritzker ad cost just $11,900
* Kennedy unveils health care plan
* Gov. Rauner gets his own blog
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* State Senator Cullerton Requesting Documents Pe.....
* Cook County judge orders public airing of lawsu.....
* Environmental Town Hall Hosted In Homer Townshi.....
* Do you favor legalizing marijuana? Then here’s .....
* Pritzker, Kennedy, Biss clash over property tax.....
* Rauner trash talks his own state—as Amazon look.....
* Long now says Rauner also to blame for budget d.....
* Rauner trash talks his own state—as Amazon look.....


* Illinois high court OKs lawsuit in NIU student's 2012 death
* Women will march again with aim to become a political force
* Illinois Treasurer warns of college savings tax penalties
* The Second City expands autism spectrum program in Chicago
* Illinois court again upholds Drew Peterson murder conviction
* Man sues driver in crash that killed pregnant wife, 3 sons
* Court in Chicago to hear arguments on sanctuary cities
* Ex-mayor of Chicago suburb pleads guilty in bribery scheme
* University of Illinois board chairman re-elected to 2nd term
* Grants will help students pay for trip to Lincoln museum

* U of I trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Frerichs: Can't get tax break for using college savings plan on private K-12 tuition
* Illinois governor to air extended ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Chicago a finalist for Amazon's second headquarters
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months

* L.A. Times newsroom votes to unionize in blow to owner Tronc
* 'Worst flu season in a decade' hitting Chicago hospitals
* Coming to the Gold Coast: a boutique and cafe
* Discover topping credit-card rivals in growth—and bad loans


* NFL seems to already know the Patriots, Vikings are going to the Super Bowl
* Highland Park man pleads guilty to more than $800K in tax evasion
* Teen shooter pleads guilty to murder charge in Endia Martin killing
* Musical ‘Yank!’ captures moment in history of gays in U.S. military
* Treasurer of Round Lake Beach civic foundation charged with felony theft
* Rahm Emanuel continues to pile up frequent-flier miles — costing taxpayers $46K
* Cook County judge orders public airing of lawsuit against Rauner
* Bulls, White Sox could be left without radio broadcast home
* Detainee held on murder charge accused of masturbating in front of kids at jail
* Winter is here: ‘Game of Thrones’ ice hotel opens in Finland


* Huntley High School locked down after bullets found in school: officials
* Kanye West, Kim Kardashian name baby Chicago West
* Los Angeles Times journalists vote 248-44 to unionize
* Federal judge blasts city lawyers for failing to turn over crucial evidence
* No deal to avert government shutdown after Trump-Schumer meeting
* Trump’s 'fake news' awards win the prize for flops
* Widow of ex-Bowman coach files lawsuit in I-65 crash that killed husband, teacher
* Wilmette woman attacked mother in bed, stabbed her multiple times, prosecutors say
* Illinois names Rod Smith its new offensive coordinator
* Olympian Aly Raisman wishes for Larry Nassar to have 'a life of suffering'


» Sheriff Offers To Help Review Police Shootings In Suburban Cook County
» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois
» A Call For Transparency
» 2 Illinois Governor Candidates Spend $26M In Last 3 Months
» State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
» Lawmakers Demand Fast Internet For Rural Schools
» 2 Dreamers Discuss Helping Other Immigrants Amid Uncertainty
» Rauner Spokesman: 'Governor Believes David Duke Is A Racist'
» Rauner Signs Law To Help Women Behind Bars
» A Poor Neighborhood In Chicago Looks To Cuba To Fight Infant Mortality


* Point: Trump's stance gives hope to an Iranian majority that longs for freedom
* Counterpoint: Trump's assertive policies rally Iranian support for the Ayatollahs
* Thumbs Up: To investing in infrastructure
* Eugene Robinson: An administration with no credibility cannot lead
* U of I trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks


* Louisiana man gets probation for sex abuse of children in Mascoutah
* Dec. 22 Bob Asmussen chat
* Highland Chamber of Commerce seeking award nominations
* Crack-smoking trucker gets 14-year prison sentence for fatal crash
* Carbondale man gets 3 years on weapons charge after 2016 New Year's Eve shooting
* Contractor says Belleville owes $90,000
* Does Belleville still owe $90,000 for City Hall work? The architect says yes.
* OUTTAKES
* Salvation Army kettle campaign is short of its goal
* Sprouts suspected in salmonella cluster that may be tied to Jimmy John's


* Authorities: Harper College professor shot at Iowa state troopers, motorists
* How pickleball is helping Lao seniors overcome language barriers
* Akron's Moutinho goes No. 1 in MLS SuperDraft
* The Latest: Federal grand jury probing Vegas shooting
* NFL: Raiders complied with 'Rooney Rule' when hiring Gruden

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* Bipartisan Illinois criticism follows Trum...
* Time Magazine's Powerful Cover Features Fi...
* Our view: End patronage at Algonquin Towns...
* Letters to the editor: Election commission...
* Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and...
* Lawmakers back renaming Warrenville post o...
* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...
* Suburban Democrats line up to challenge Ro...
* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Tom Cotton tears into Lindsey Graham for c......
* Republican leaders pressure members agains......

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* Lena Waithe keeps Chicago cliches out of The Chi
* This Week on Filmstruck: Anna Magnani
* March to the Polls and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend
* When the board wanted our school district to get a waiver honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King.
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #48. Amber Smock, people with disabilities advocate and activist.
* Illinois Legislators Urged to Act Quickly to Secure Voter Files
* The [MLK Birthday 2018] Weekend Desk Report
* Amazon Short-List Proves Something "Deeply Wrong" With America's Race-To-The-Bottom Economy
* Olympian: 'Red Flags' Ignored In Nassar Abuse
* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #183: What's Nagging About Nagy


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Yahoo Finance launches social savings app Tanda, an alternative to credit cards
* Verizon Go Unlimited now get roaming data in Canada and Mexico
* MacRumors Giveaway: Win an Apple Watch Band From Casetify
* [TA Deals] Save 95% on the Microsoft Excel + Advanced Excel bundle
* Beats Pill+ Bluetooth Speaker in White Discounted to $116 at Target and Amazon
* Razer Phone 2 may launch in August alongside Project Linda
* Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 4.2.2 to Developers

* Engel working to steady barrel in Year 2
* WLS parent company looking to end White Sox radio deal
* Inbox: Who replaces Rodon in the rotation?
* 2018 South Side Sox Hall of Fame Ballot
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy
* Collins ranked MLB's No. 9 catching prospect
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller