(11/26/13) - The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to buy health insurance. It can help if you don’t have coverage now or if you have insurance but want to look at other options.
In the Marketplace, the cost for insurance is based on your household size and income.[Read More...]
You can find out what you will pay by filling out the Marketplace application. You also can compare plans side-by-side. Filling out the application does not mean you are buying a plan; it just tells you what plans are available and what each plan will cost you.
You also can use the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator for a rough estimate of how much health insurance through the Marketplace may cost you in 2014. Your final premiums and costs may differ from the estimates.
Click here to visit the Kaiser Family Foundation website to use the health insurance costs and savings calculator.
Eligibility for Ohio Medicaid has recently been expanded. This change means more adults between the ages of 19 and 64 will be eligible for no cost or low cost health care coverage through Medicaid beginning Jan. 1, 2014. More information is available in the Medicaid Eligibility Expanded for Adults Ages 19 to 64 article below.
The Marketplace will not affect your SERS’ health care coverage. You are not required to switch plans. You decide what is best for you.
The Marketplace is not for those who have Medicare. If you are a SERS retiree who does not have Medicare, click here to learn more about how to look for insurance in the Marketplace.[Hide]
(11/26/13) - Eligibility for Ohio Medicaid has recently changed. This change means more adults between the ages of 19 and 64 will be eligible for no cost or low cost health care coverage through Medicaid beginning Jan 1, 2014.
Under the new eligibility rules, an individual with an income of $15,856 or less is now eligible for Medicaid. For a household size of two adults, the combined income could be up to $21,406.[Read More...]
If you think you qualify because of the new Medicaid rules, there are three ways to apply:
If you do not qualify for Medicaid, you may still qualify for help paying for other insurance you can buy on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
The Marketplace is not for those who have Medicare. To learn more about how to look for insurance in the Marketplace, click here.[Hide]
The pay date for December is 11/29/13.[Read More...]
*Direct deposit notice or check stub will be mailed to all benefit recipients.
You will receive a check stub whenever there is a change to your benefit, such as health care premium change, a tax withholding change, or a bank account change.
SERS strongly encourages all retirees to have their pension payments paid directly to a bank or credit union. Direct deposit of your funds is the only way to assure that your payment will be available on the first of every month. Direct deposit eliminates any concerns about late, lost, or stolen checks. Since pension checks cannot be forwarded, direct deposit also eliminates delays when you travel during retirement. It is your responsibility to make sure the funds are in your account before writing checks against your account.
If you do not enroll in direct deposit, there is no guarantee that you will receive your payment right on the first of every month. Delivery delays might occur that are beyond SERS’ control, such as lost or stolen checks. You must wait 10 days after the expected delivery date before SERS can begin the process of stopping payment and issuing a new check. This delay will not occur if you have direct deposit.[Hide]
(9/26/13) - Many of you have called us expressing interest in the remote counseling program. Unfortunately, all appointments for our September through November sessions have been booked. Registration is now closed.[Read More...]
We are currently working on scheduling more remote counseling sessions for 2014. If you are interested in meeting with a counselor and will be retiring within the next 12 months, there are other ways we can help you:
(9/12/13) - All active SERS members soon will receive their Member Annual Statements. This year’s statements reflect changes resulting from pension reform and show how the changes may affect members. There are four different versions of the annual statement based on a member’s years of service.
Included with the annual statement is the latest News & Views newsletter, explaining the new format. Members also can watch a video that will guide them through reading their new statements. Smartphone users can scan the QR code on the front page of their newsletter to access the video that relates to their statement type.[Read More...]
Members are grouped into four categories, according to the statement type they will receive. To determine your group, please refer to the front page of your News & Views or look at the lower left corner of your statement. It displays a form number 25.90 and a letter (either a, b, c, or d).
Read below to determine which video you should watch:
You received Statement 25.90a. The story on the front page of your News & Views and the QR code are contained in pink boxes.
You received Statement 25.90b. The story on the front page of your News & Views and the QR code are contained in yellow boxes.
You received Statement 25.90c. The story on the front page of your News & Views and the QR code are contained in blue boxes.
You received Statement 25.90d. The story on the front page of your News & Views and the QR code are contained in green boxes.[Hide]
(8/30/13) - SERS is adding vision coverage to the SERS’ health care program in 2014.
The coverage is being offered through Vision Service Plan, VSP. In addition to vision benefits, the VSP plan includes hearing-related services through TruHearing MemberPlus. It offers participants savings of up to 50% on select hearing aids.
The dental provider is changing for 2014. Delta Dental of Ohio will provide coverage.
Eligibility for the vision and dental plans also is changing. Enrollment is no longer limited to those enrolled in SERS medical coverage.[Read More...]
Benefit recipients who previously waived their SERS’ health care coverage can now enroll in dental and vision coverage. Benefit recipients only need to be eligible for SERS health care to enroll in the dental and/or vision coverage.
Dental and vision enrollment applications are being taken through Oct. 31, 2013. Plan coverage begins on Jan. 1, 2014.
For more information, click on the links below:[Hide]
Inside the packet are premiums for 2014. It also has an overview of the changes taking place and the schedule of upcoming open enrollment meetings and webinars.[Hide]
(7/18/13) - A Special Election is being held to fill a vacant retiree-member Board seat due to the resignation of a Board member. For the Special Election, candidates will be nominated by the Board members, and the successor member will be chosen by a Board vote. All SERS retirees are eligible to apply for this open seat.[Read More...]
Interested candidates should send a resume addressed to the SERS Board of Trustees, 300 E. Broad St., Suite 100, Columbus, OH, 43215-3746 or by email to SERSBoardofTrustees@ohsers.org by Aug. 30, 2013. Candidates also must submit a completed Certification Form, which can be downloaded from the SERS website. The completed form should be mailed to the above address.
The term for this Board seat runs from Nov. 21, 2013 to June 30, 2015. Click here to see the full Special Election timeline.
If you have questions about this Special Election, please contact Tim Barbour, Senior Communications Coordinator, by phone at 614-222-5901 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.[Hide]
(7/01/13) - As of June 30, 2013, Prudential Insurance Company of America is no longer offering group long-term care insurance.[Read More...]
SERS benefit recipients and members who previously enrolled in this program will continue to have coverage.[Hide]
(5/29/13) - Catholic Health Partners announced today that it has reached tentative agreements to purchase the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio, and Ohio Permanente Medical Group, Inc.[Read More...]
Catholic Health Partners said in a press release that it would continue to provide health care for more than 80,000 current Kaiser Permanente Ohio members and operate existing offices in northeast Ohio.
Benefit recipients and dependents who are enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente HMO and Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plus plans should not expect to see any immediate changes due to this announcement.[Hide]
(5/24/13) - A SERS retiree recently received a phone call from a person pretending to be from one of SERS’ health care providers. The caller told the retiree that he needed her banking information before he could send her a new medical card. Sensing something was not right, the SERS retiree ended the call without giving out personal information.
If you receive a similar call, do not give out any personal information and call SERS toll-free at 800-878-5853 to report the incident. Medical providers do not need your banking information or Social Security number. You also can call the phone number of your medical provider (usually listed on your ID card) to be sure you are talking with actual company representatives.[Read More...]
SERS does not place phone calls to members and retirees, or send staff door-to-door to ask for personal information. However, if you call us, we will ask you a series of questions to verify your personal information and identity.
When you call us, we need your name, Social Security number, date of birth, telephone number, and email address, if you have one. We ask for this information in order to protect your personal SERS information.[Hide]
(5/21/13) - SERS Health Care Services has learned that the Medicare “Extra Help” checks mailed on May 10 to more than 1,600 SERS retirees cannot be cashed due to a printing error. If you received one of these checks, do not try to cash it.[Read More...]
Express Scripts will correct the printing problem and issue new checks. Checks mailed on May 10 will be voided. If you received one of these checks, please be sure to cut it up or shred it for security reasons.
If you have any questions, please contact SERS toll-free at 800-878-5853 or email email@example.com. Thank you for your patience.[Hide]
(4/30/13) - As of today, all travel expense reimbursement requests for the NCPERS Annual Conference scheduled in Hawaii have been withdrawn by the members who requested the travel. We have informed the legislature of this development.
While we still believe in the educational value of this conference, the travel issue has become a major distraction to the important work we do for members and retirees. The actions that legislators took yesterday would significantly impair the work SERS Board and staff does and we hope that by withdrawing the travel we can avoid these restrictions.[Read More...]
As a Board, we have significant decisions to make regarding investments in the next few months and we will do our best to keep SERS well-funded for the future. We appreciate the comments we have received from members and retirees, and we ask for your continued support as we move forward in governing SERS.
Beverly A. Woolridge[Hide]
(4/16/13) - On April 11, Governor John Kasich appointed Daniel L. Wilson of Beachwood to the School Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees. Wilson replaces Richard Sensenbrenner whose term ended Sept. 28, 2012. Wilson will be sworn in at the April 18 Board meeting and his term runs through Sept. 27, 2016.[Read More...]
Since 2004, Wilson has served as the chief financial officer for the Mentor Exempted Village Board of Education. From 2003-2004, he served as associate superintendent for the Center of School Finance and Accountability at the Ohio Department of Education. He has also served as chief financial officer/budget director at the Parma Board of Education in Cuyahoga County and worked as a treasurer at the Shaker Heights Board of Education, Canton City Board of Education, Stark County Board of Education, South-Western City Board of Education, and Woodridge Local Board of Education. In all, Wilson has more than 39 years of public service to school districts in Ohio.
Wilson is the Past-President of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for School Business Management, and served two terms on the SERS Board as an elected member from July 1, 1992-June 30, 1996, and as a governor appointee from Sept. 28, 2004-Sept. 28, 2008.
Wilson earned his BS in business administration from the University of Akron.[Hide]
(1/10/13) SERS has received the 2013 federal tax withholding tables. The new tables will be effective for February benefit payments. Benefit recipients who had federal taxes withheld from their January payment will see a slight decrease in the tax withheld. However, recipients who receive their cost of living adjustment in February may see an increase in withholding as a result of the increased benefit amount.[Read More...]
Recipients can change their withholding amount at any time by completing IRS form W-4P. This form, Federal Withholding Certificate for Monthly Pension Payments, can be found on SERS’ website at www.ohsers.org/Document/Get/4582. If you need a form sent to you, please call SERS toll-free at 800-878-5853.[Hide]
(1/3/13) - SERS members who retire or begin receiving a pension benefit on or after Jan. 7, 2013, must be eligible for Medicare Part B and be enrolled in SERS’ health care coverage to receive a Medicare Part B reimbursement.[Read More...]
SERS currently reimburses eligible benefit recipients $45.50 per month to help pay Medicare Part B premiums. If your Medicare Part B coverage is cancelled, or your Part B premium is paid by any other source, such as your state, union, employer, Medicaid or other entity, you are not eligible for the reimbursement. Reimbursement starts after SERS receives proof of Medicare Part B enrollment.
The Medicare Part B reimbursement will end if SERS’ health care coverage is cancelled or Medicare Part B enrollment ends. Spouses and dependents are not eligible for this reimbursement.
Benefit recipients who are eligible for Medicare Part B and already receiving a benefit before Jan. 7, 2013, are not affected by this change.
To be eligible to receive a Medicare Part B reimbursement you must either be:
(1) a benefit recipient whose benefit began before Jan 7, 2013 and who was eligible for Medicare Part B before Jan. 7, 2013, or
(2) a benefit recipient who is eligible for Medicare Part B and who is enrolled in SERS’ health care coverage.[Hide]
(12/27/12) - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) usually issues new tax withholding tables in early December for the following year. However, because of the current negotiations between the President and Congress regarding tax reform, the IRS cannot produce the 2013 withholding tables. Although a compromise may be reached soon, SERS’ January 2013 benefit payments have already been processed using the 2012 tables.[Read More...]
This means that recipients will not see a change in the amount withheld unless they received a Cost-of-Living Adjustment increase or recently submitted a new withholding form to SERS.
We will post an update on our website when the 2013 tables are issued. We also will provide information at that time about the general impact of the 2013 tables on individual withholding.[Hide]
(12/18/12) – A cost estimate calculator for the new “buy-up” option is now available to SERS members. To access the calculator, please log on to your Member Account. Once you have signed in, click on the “Buy-Up Cost Estimate” link.[Read More...]