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
Click on , then    to view recording in full screen.




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

Upcoming Events

Event Date: October 2, 2023, at 9:30am

We will meet at the Mel-O-Glaze bakery on 28th and Minnehaha Parkway and walk to Minnehaha Falls and then back again.

Event Date: October 3, 2023, at 1pm

Some of the most valuable and rare maps in the world are held in UMN's own James Ford Bell Library, housed in Andersen Library  See https://www.lib.umn.edu/collections/special/bell .

Event Date: October 4, 2023, at 10am

The first meeting of UMRA’s Family History Interest Group for 2023–24 will feature a presentation by Marilyn DeLong about sharing family stories and learning surprising family connections. 

Event Date: October 4, 2023, at 10am

UMRA has a special opportunity to engage with the four newest members of the U of M Board of Regents on Wednesday, October 4, via Zoom. The purpose of the event is to share our perspectives as former University employees. 

Event Date: October 10, 2023, at 12:30pm

All UMRA members with an interest in photography are welcome to attend the meeting of the UMRA Photo Club on Tuesday, October 10. We welcome photographers of all abilities. Most of us are struggling amateurs. We laugh a lot and learn from sharing and talking about our pictures.

Event Date: October 16, 2023, at 9:30am

The walk along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is always changing, with many attractions being added along both sides of the river and, now, the beautiful fall colors.

Event Date: October 19, 2023, at 11am

UMRA’s workshop on Open Enrollment for U of M retiree health plans for 2024 will include a briefing on the choice between Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans, by Jeff Snegosky of BCBS of Minnesota, followed by an overview of the U of M’s retiree health insurance plans, by Katie Kolodge from the Office of Human Resources.

Event Date: October 20, 2023, at 2pm

Mary Jane Towle will lead the discussion of The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams.

Event Date: October 24, 2023, at 11am

To help us understand the growing movement in the U.S. to ban books, especially children’s literature, and the critical role of libraries to protect intellectual freedom, UMRA will welcome U of M Librarian Lisa Von Drasek (pictured) and Rochester Public Librarian Kimberly Edson as the guest speakers for our October luncheon forum at Midland Hills. 

Event Date: October 27, 2023, at 2pm

The Fourth Friday Book Club will meet from 2 to 3:30 p.m. CDT on October 27 to discuss the life and narrative of Frederick Douglass.

Event Date: November 6, 2023, at 9:30am

Join us for a 5 mile moderately paced hike around Pleasant Lake located in the heart of North Oaks.  It takes us past some of James J. Hill’s original farm buildings as well as beautiful homes built along the lakeshore. The trail is wide, generally flat and consists of packed dirt and crushed rock. 

Event Date: November 6, 2023, at 9:40am

The documents noted for this event specify your managers and can minimize income taxes now, and estate taxes. 

Event Date: November 7, 2023, at 1pm

The material world we live in is shaped by design. While popular discussions of design typically focus on fashion and furniture, design is fundamental in art, architecture, and indeed nearly all aspects of the everyday world around us.  Goldstein Museum of Design curator Jean McElvain will demonstrate and discuss some of the fascinating and often unexpected holdings before we walk through the current gallery exhibit.

Event Date: November 27, 2023, at 9am - December 3, 2023, at 5pm

Get an insider's perspective on Santa Fe and Taos alongside local artists, exploring the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, enjoying traditional music and learning about native cultures. The deadline for reserving a space is June 2, 2023.

Event Date: December 4, 2023, at 9:30am

Please join us for an invigorating hike from The Monument located at the intersection of Mississippi RIver Blvd and Summit Avenue in St. Paul to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis and back.  This hike is on paved trails, approximately 5.5 miles in length, and will be at a pace suitable to the weather.

Event Date: December 13, 2023, at 11:30am

Topics include tax changes; tax reducing moves required now and tax management in 2024 & 2025.