MESSAGE CONCERNING THE NEW MEDICARE ADVANTAGE (MA) PLAN
Roger; There’s been quite a bit of confusion concerning the new Medicare Advantage program. Numerous calls to me caused me to have discussion with Jan Winters, State Personnel director. The confusion stemmed from the use of the term “enlisted”. While we in the state police consider all sworn officers “enlisted”, the office of state employer used that term to designate members of the bargaining unit. Those two groups will be identified separately in the future.
Bottom line: Retirees who are not a part of the MSPTA bargaining unit (command officers) are automatically enrolled. Troopers and sergeants who retired as a member of the bargaining unit are not. Troopers & sergeants will continue with their insurance as it is now until changed by collective bargaining contract agreement or modification.
Please circulate the below email from Jan Winters. (Jeff Steffel)
Thank you for sharing conflicting information received by retired Command Officers about the conversion from the current State of Michigan Medicare Supplemental Plan to the New Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan. The new MA plan effective January 1, 2020 applies to retired Command Officers and their covered dependents eligible for Medicare. It does not apply to Troopers and Sergeants retiring on or after October 1, 1987. Pension and retiree benefits are bargained for the State Police enlisted unit (Troopers and Sergeants) pursuant to the 1978 Constitutional Amendment and the current MSPTA Agreement does not include the new MA Plan for Medicare-eligible retirees.
Customer service representatives with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) have been provided the following to assure consistent and accurate information is given:
• Medicare Advantage (MA) is not applicable to State Police Troopers and Sergeants retiring from the MSPTA represented bargaining unit who retired on or after 10/1/1987. These members will remain in their current plan.
• Command officers who are eligible for Medicare will transition to the MA plan unless they opt out.
• Command officers who are not eligible for Medicare will remain in the State Health Plan PPO.
• For members who retired before 10/1/1987 refer the member to the ORS 1-800-381-5111.
Below is a link to the Civil Service Commission’s retiree page which includes the 2019-2020 retiree benefits bulletin, the MA presentation used at informational meetings, a video of a presentation on the MA plan, and other related information.
The State Police enlisted unit is the name of the bargaining unit which includes only Troopers and Sergeants. Unfortunately, the reference to the bargaining unit rather than to Troopers and Sergeants has contributed to confusion. Future communications will clearly identify what applies to retired Command Officers and what applies to retired Troopers and Sergeants.
Please let me know if we can be of any assistance. Questions about the MA Plan can also be referred to the Civil Service Commission’s Employee Benefits Division at MCSC-EBD@michigan.gov .
State Personnel Director