The following article summarizes the original event which is listed below the summary.

October 2022 Workshop: Medicare changes and U of M retiree health plans

Tue, October 18 2022, 11am

The first part of UMRA’s 2022 health plan workshop featured representatives from HealthPartners: Barbara Cox, vice president for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, and Amy Schultz, director of Medicare Programs. They discussed the changes in Medicare provisions included in the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed by Congress earlier this year. These changes primarily affect drug coverage. They include:

  • Medicare will be allowed to negotiate prices for 60 high-priced drugs;
  • insulin and vaccine costs will be lowered in 2023;
  • drug manufacturers will be required to give inflationary rebates in 2023;
  • the “doughnut hole” in Medicare drug coverage will be eliminated in 2025; and
  • Part D premium growth will be capped at 6 percent per year, 2024–30.

Individuals may see some reduction in costs due to these changes. However, the changes are subject to legal challenge and congressional action.

The second part of the workshop was a presentation by Katie Kolodge, health and wellbeing consultant with the University’s Office of Human Resources (OHR). She began by describing the things that set U of M retiree plans apart from other, lower-premium plans. These include:

  • richer pharmacy coverage;
  • lower out-of-pocket costs and plan maximums for care;
  • vendors and plans vetted by the University; and
  • the convenience of having plans readily available at retirement

For 2023, there are few changes in the U of M plans. Detailed information can be found in the 2023 Benefits Enrollment Guide, by calling OHR at 612-624-8647, and by talking to individual vendors. 

Open Enrollment in the University’s plans continues until November 30. Note that this is earlier than the December 15 ending date for general Medicare Open Enrollment. 

During University Open Enrollment, those who already have University plans can continue with those plans, switch to other University plans, or leave the University plans. However, if you leave the University’s plans, you cannot return. 

—Ron Matross, UMRA president

Event recording
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Medicare changes and your U of M health insurance options for 2023

Tue, October 18 2022, 11am
Representatives of Health Partners and the U of M Office of Human Resources

Event to be held via Zoom.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes significant legislation on prescription drug prices. To understand the potential impact on each of us as individuals, UMRA’s October health insurance workshop will feature a discussion of the legislation and what it means for beneficiaries of Medicare.  

Our presenters on this topic will be two experts from Minnesota-based HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed nonprofit health care organization in the country: Barbara Cox, vice president, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, and Amy Schultz, director, Medicare Programs.

Staff from the University of Minnesota Office of Human Resources (OHR) will then present their annual update on the University’s retiree health plans, including how the U of M plans compare to other plans, how to get detailed information on specific plans offered through the University, and how the annual enrollment process works.

Following the presentations, workshop attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the HealthPartners and OHR presenters.

The workshop will be a virtual presentation via Zoom webinar from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18. Please register and mark your calendars to attend this important workshop.

Open Enrollment begins November 1.

—Ron Matross, UMRA president

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