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For DEC Retirees - HP Medical Plan Info 

Thanks to those who wrote in with suggestions and to share their experiences with HP healthcare plans.  Here's what we learned so far:

 

1. Get everything you need -- documents, options, costs, etc. -- online at the HP Benefits Center -- and enroll online: https://www.myhpbenefits.com

HP 2019 Retirement Medical Plan Enrollment (pre-enrollment mailer)

 

Heads up (from HPAA, thanks to Curt Gowan):

- "If you are not currently enrolled for coverage through HP or the Aon Retiree Health Exchange, you will NOT receive annual enrollment materials as you are not eligible to enroll for benefits during the annual enrollment period. You would only be eligible for coverage by calling the Benefits Center within 31 days of losing your existing coverage from a different employer." --HP
 

- "If you are not currently enrolled in an HP plan, but would like to know what your rates would be if you did enroll" call the Benefits Center.

 

HP Inc Benefits Center: The "cosmic glue" for all US HP Inc benefits issues. (HP Inc was formerly named Hewlett-Packard Company.) (Operated for HP Inc by Alight Solutions -- formerly Aon Hewitt.) Also manages retiree health coverage for many HPE retirees and any retiree health plans from predecessors such as DEC.

 

1-800-890-3100 -- 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday - Friday 

1-847-883-0465 -- Outside the United States, Puerto Rico, or Canada

Ask for a "Retirement Specialist" -- otherwise, you may get an agent who is primarily trained on current-employee issues.  If the first-level Benefits Center phone agent can't resolve your issue, ask them to escalate your call. Use the magic word "escalate." We get very good reports from members who have escalated within the Benefits Center.

 

2. There are 3 remaining sets of Medicare teleconferences covering HP UHC Medicare Advantage PPO and the Aon Retiree Health Exchange alternative. 

Date/EasternTime/

Plan

Phone

Webex Access

Go to https://www.webex.com

Select “Join,” then enter the information below

Oct. 23 - 1 pm EST

UHC Medicare Advantage PPO

1-800-260-0719

Participant Access Code: #453336

  n/a

Oct. 23 - 3 pm EST

Aon Retiree Health Exch

1-866-692-5721
Access code:

254 367 24

Meeting number: 749 241 880
Meeting password: HP

Oct. 26 - 1 pm EST

UHC Medicare Advantage PPO

1-800-260-0719
Participant Access Code: #453337

  n/a

Oct. 26 - 3 pm EST

Aon Retiree Health Exch

1-866-692-5721
Access code:

254 367 24

Meeting number: 740 342 944
Meeting password: HP

Oct. 30 - 1 pm EST

UHC Medicare Advantage PPO

1-800-260-0719
Participant Access Code: #453338

  n/a

Oct. 30 - 3 pm EST

Aon Retiree Health Exch

1-866-692-5721
Access code:

254 367 24

Meeting number: 743 372 653
Meeting password: HP

 

Login details are above and in the mailer HP sent a month ago.

HPAA has the mailer online here: 

https://www.hpalumni.org/2019PreEnrollmentMailer-Medicare.pdf 

   (scroll down)

 

Videos explaining your benefit options also will be available when you enroll on MyHPBenefits at www.myhpbenefits.com.

 

3. HP Retiree Benefits Fairs - these are West Coast only    

    9:30am to 1pm:  Boise - October 24 and San Diego - October 24

 

4.  Suggest signing up for the free HPAA (Alum Assn) online community orchestrated by Curt Gowan.  He and other volunteers track all that's going on re: healthcare, financial, social activities and benefits, and more.  https://www.hpalumni.org

 

5.  Here are several comments from DECcies who responded to our note (more still coming in, so check back):

 

- I used AON for my health plans and I'm using AARP United Healthcare and Humana for drugs no problems. The nice part about this plan is is that every year HP will reimburse you for part of the premiums that you have to pay. I stayed with HP for dental coverage and eye vision - Mike Renzulli, NH

 

- I have used AON options going on four years now.  They give you lots of options with many plans to choose from; almost too many.  They let you do a side by side comparison of three plans.  I studied all the options first time around and decided that I wanted a low premium with a high deductible as at this point we are not having any major medical problems.  We were on the premium United Healthcare, PPO plan with DEC prior paying about $280 per month with a low deductible.  We never every met the deductible, but since my employer was paying the premium I didn't care.  But when I retired and had to start paying the premium myself, I got real serious about the AON plans which had just started at the same time.  We both are over 65 and are on Medicare, therefore, we ended up going with  an HMO plan called AARP Medicare Complete, Secure Horizon since it was under written by United Healthcare and we did not have to change doctors, plus with a $3900 deductible for each of us and a premium of ZERO dollars and lots of other neat features, it was and is a stellar plan. Plus AON via DEC/HP pays  both of our part C Medicare charge by sending us each a check for $134 every month; actually they deposit it into our bank account. It shows up as YSA Reimbursement YSA on the bank statement. You have to ask for this as it is not automatic. Many AON users do not know about this option and are missing out on this added bonus payment.  I highly recommend the AON option.  United Healthcare contracts with Medicare to handle the paperwork, so you don't have to deal with anyone but UHC. We spend our winters in Florida and the plan goes with us.  I have had no problem with getting HMO referrals and treatment while we are in FL over the winter months.  And you can't beat ZERO $ premiums.- Jim Akin, CO

 

- Have used AON for several years now. As with most things it pays to do your homework.  There is a website where you can do your own research. As well you can have a one-on-one phone meeting with a knowledgable advisor. One problem I've noticed is that the AARP Medicare option that I like is not listed on the AON website.

- Ray Iannuzzelli, NH

 

- We talked to Aon at length last year.  When we asked if we could keep our current doctors (and specialists), they looked and said no, for almost all were not in their system.  They also told us to keep Tufts Medicare Preferred. - Bill Seaver, MA

 

- I was very pleased with AON this past year. I am hoping to renew with them after my phone appointment on Nov. 6th. They were very thorough with answering my Eligibility questions and steered me to select the best fit.  The only negative is that they are so very busy, you must make an appointment well in advance for your selection. After you select the appropriate plan suited to your needs, your personal information Is given to an underwriter to confirm or deny your selection. 

- Carole Hurlebaus

 

- I evaluated Aeon last year as well and stuck with Harvard Pilgrim. Aeon is cheaper this year again, with 3 options. However I am sticking with Harvard Pilgrim a bit more from Hewlett Packard as I just don't trust Aeon. The options they gave were still confusing and did not seem to be a full of options. I did not call Aeon this year, just evaluated by their documentation. - Frank Lombardi 

 

-My own experience in enrolling with Aon Retiree Health Exchange (ARHE) was pretty unpleasant. I don't know whether I got an incompetent agent/salesperson, or if they are all like that. She seemed to know nothing about Massachusetts law regarding being able to get coverage without underwriting, for example.  I thought I had everything completed, and just before the Medicare enrollment deadline, the salesperson called to say that something had caused me to be unenrolled from the drug plan. We had to do the whole thing over again in a rush. The root cause for this turned out to be miscommunication between ARHE and Aon Hewitt (i.e., the benefits center). It took a senior HP person to get this repaired. I did not consider any of the HMO or PPO plans. I wanted traditional Medicare with a Medigap plan and a drug plan. So I know nothing about them. Unlike the HP plans, you will face the doughnut hole for drugs if you buy an off-the-shelf drug plan. I generally found that drugs cost me more than they had under my previous HP plan (what used to be called a Supplement plan). My medical OOP costs have been lower, except when I do something that Medicare doesn't cover, like an annual gyn visit. This year I may change drug plans. I can't find anything that tells me how to do that. I dread the possibility of another very long phone call with the salesperson. I assume you are doing this because you will get reimbursement from HP for some of your premium. Setting that up didn't go smoothly either. For the first year, they never reimbursed me for my drug plan premiums. Various other glitches have occurred since then. - Name withheld by request.

 

- I'm a retiree from Digital. I'm pleased with my plan with HP's United Health Care plan for 2019. Known as United Health Care Group Medicare Advantage (PPO). Since I live in North Carolina rates vary in other states. - Martha Arnum

The AON health exchange phone number is 800-975-0355 and their web page is https://retiree.aon.com/hp. I haven’t looked into it yet because if covering your spouse, both spouses have to have Medicare. They sent me more information this year because my wife is Medicare-eligible in January. - Dave Velten

- Before I attempt to answer your questions, I will give you the rational on why I elected AON last year. Like you, we were always comfortable with the group medical coverage offered by HP for Washington state retirees. However, in 2016 HP discontinued Group Health coverage and replaced it with UHC Medicare Supplement PPO Plus. We were unaware of this change since we were on extended out-of-state vacation. As a result, we were defaulted to UHC coverage for the year 2017. For the duration of that year, we were in frequent battles with UHC over the administration, billing process and copayments issues related to HP contract. So much so, I literally on an extended telecom conversation with a UHC supervisor I said they were brain dead¯! That being said, for 2018 coverage I elected AON and the rest is history. The AON rep was very knowledgeable and assisted us with selecting a plan that fits our needs and completing the application process. I was very much focused on selecting an insurance health plan offered by a medical hospital under one roof. We are now with Kaiser Permanente (formerly Group Health Cooperative) Medicare Advantage plan and with the RRA our net cost is much lower than the current HP group coverage offering. Bottom line, it's a win-win! It is Good and its also True. We have absolutely NO REGRETS. - Lou Tamarra

 

- I have been on the AON program for two years and I found it much much better than the HP plan. At first, I was afraid to leave the "HP nest"¯, but it turned out to be a great decision for my wife and I. An AON rep helped me go through various plans. Once I signed up for the plans we wanted, $1080 for both my wife and I were put aside to subsidize our insurance choice. I signed an automatic funds transfer option and each month after paying the insurance premium, that same amount was transferred to my checking account. This transferred happened until the subsidized amount went to zero. This was set up by AON and works in conjunction with the HP Benefits site.

For us, the insurance benefits AND the cost was considerably better with AON than the HP plan.  Again this year, I will be signing up again for medical insurance and drug coverage through AON. I will continue to get dental coverage (and vision coverage bi-annually) through the HP plan.  Hope this was somewhat helpful in your insurance decision making process.  - Curt Anderson

 

- I had Original Medicare and HP/UHC Medigap Insurance before 2017. Then I switched to HP/Medicare Advantage for 2017.  After talking with a rep at the online website, eHealth, I changed back to Original Medicare and AARP/Medigap and AARP Pharnacy  insurance for 2018.  I am much happier with the way Original Medicare works; I don't need referrals to see a specialist; and my total medical expenses for 2018, including insurance, copays, pharmacy, and other medical costs look like they are going to be less than in 2017 and significantly less than they would have been if I had stayed with the HP/Medicare Advantage plan for 2018.  I thought that Medicare Advantage was supposed to cost less than Original Medicare plus Medigap, but it didn't work that way for me.  I suggest that anyone who is currently on Medicare through HP, should look carefully at other plans, including AARP and Humana, or talk with one of the medicare advisory services before making a decision for 2019.   - Chuck Conley, 25 years at DEC and SERP in 1992

 

- I went with AON two years ago because it was important to me to keep my same doctors. The HP program offerings did not include Carolinas Healthcare. Through AON I use full Medicare benefits and I selected AARP plan F as my supplement policy.  The supplement pays everything that Medicare doesn't and there is no co-pay requirement.  I selected Silver Scripts drug plan and can use any pharmacy but I get a slightly lower price through CVS and I use Caremark for 90 day prescriptions.  I'm quite satisfied. Hope this helps, Carol Mitchell

 

- I have been using AON for the past three years and have been very pleased with the service they provided.  We have been using health, prescription and dental insurance through them, we feel the coverage has been much better that we had with UHC.  We have remained with the HP vision coverage, it is as good as any others we could find at lower cost.  David

 

- Hi DEC Retirees, my friend Jerry Bernath and I have used AON for past two years. We are both in Florida and have Medicare.  We reviewed the options for other supplemental coverage before contacting AON so that we could be sure that they gave us the best options.  We are both very happy with having used AON.  We get money from HP that goes to our checking accounts directly.  It's just over $1000 per person (yes, spouses get that amount too).  It can be used to offset our out of pocket coverage. I continue getting dental and eye coverage through HP.  We both selected AARP plan F (each state has different options) and pay that directly but the added money from HP helps cover some of the cost.  We actually came out a bit ahead with better coverage than what HP offers.  I plan to continue with AON next year as well.

We handle our prescription drug coverage separately. Medicare.gov had very good evaluation of plans based on individual drug usage.

1. Do research in advance re alternative coverage (supplement, advantage, prescription drug, etc.) 

2. Contact AON and sign up to the best plan through AON. YOU MUST SIGN UP THROUGH AON - NOT DIRECTLY WITH THE PLAN! The only way HP will pay some offset is if you use AON for signing up to whatever plan you want. 

3. Verify that all is in place for HP to transfer funds to your account. You must carefully follow the process for getting your coverage approved by signing up and giving HP correct info re new plans. 

The process the first time is a bit complicated with both AON and HP but once set up, all has continued with no problems and having to do nothing further.

Hope that this helps some others. - Bill Taylor

 

- I selected AON/Aetna/UVA HMO medical plan because it is too good to be true.  It seems to be true. My only complaint is with Aetna.  Their phone support is poor. No follow thru on issues. Every time you call you get someone new that does not know about anything that happened before this call. They stiffed me on physical therapy for $300.00 dollars.  An out of network issue.  The plan for 2019 is even better and I am renewing. - Elaine Davis

- I used Aon last year and thought the experience and products that they offered were very good/excellent. Do you know that Aon is the new name for Hewitt Associates? Hewlett Packard seems to be offering only Advantage Plans.  AON has a larger breath of offerings. I bought a Medicare supplement plan with no co-pays and no deductibles, which means no paperwork to consume you at tax time if you can still itemize. It is called Harvard Pilgrim Supplement One.  As a DEC retiree, I believe that  you may qualify for the RRA Retiree Reimbursement Account benefit of $1080 per person. I hadn’t been aware of that benefit prior to me speaking with AON.  You can also check your  Medicare brochure that came in the mail to see which plans are offered in your area. I purchased a Part D Plan from United Health Care that was  very good, compared to what I previously had. The 2  customer service reps that I talked to knew what they were doing. Billing is automatic. I have kept the same plans for 2019, thus, no set-up for the new year since all the settings rollover. - Ken Chernack

 

 

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