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Open Enrollment Information

What you need to know:

Open enrollment for ASRS retiree health insurance plans begins on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

Special note: please be aware that the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) and your former employer, such as ADOA, are NOT the same organization. Each organization offers a distinct set of health insurance choices.

The ASRS open enrollment period is "passive", meaning that if you are already on an ASRS plan and are satisfied with your choices, you do not need to make an election.

Not sure who your retiree insurance is through? We may be able to help. Log in to your secure myASRS account. If you are receiving a premium benefit from the ASRS and are insured through ASRS or a retiree plan offered by your former Arizona employer, you will see that coverage under the 'Medical/Dental Insurance' link.

myASRS Login

Once November 1 arrives, you can use that same link to enroll in an ASRS plan.

Open Enrollment is the period during which retirees and eligible members on long-term disability (LTD) may enroll, make changes to their current healthcare coverages, or add eligible family members not currently enrolled under this program.  This is the only time retirees and eligible members on LTD can make changes to their health-care coverage except during a qualifying event occurrence.

Click here for more information on the ASRS Medicare and Non-Medicare plans, as well as additional benefits and details on enrolling.

Healthcare

Open Enrollment Meetings

ASRS Open Enrollment meetings are an opportunity for you to hear the insurance representatives make formal presentations describing their plans.  ASRS is excited to announce that we will offer separate Medicare/Dental and non-Medicare/Dental meetings this year to simplify the process and provide you with only the information you need to make an informed decision.  Open Enrollment meetings have been scheduled throughout Arizona.  No appointment is necessary.  Just come to the meeting on the date and time that best suits your schedule.

This year we are also offering ASRS retirees an option to attend Open Enrollment meetings via online webinars .  There will be separate Medicare, non-Medicare and Dental webinars so you can review your health insurance options anywhere as long as you have a high-speed internet connection.  Advanced registration through your myASRS account is required to attend an Open Enrollment webinar.

2018 Retiree Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for insurance benefits for calendar year 2018 begins on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, and will continue through Thursday, November 30, 2017

Your selections will become effective January 1, 2018. Check your mailboxes, the 2018 Open Enrollment packets will be mailed out mid-October. If you'd like to check out your options sooner, click on the buttons below to see the 2018 ASRS Medicare and non-Medicare retiree group health insurance guides:

2018 Non-Medicare Insurance Guide

2018 Medicare Insurance Guide

Explore Your Health Insurance Options

Take this informative, self-paced eLearning to see which plans you are eligible for, and be directed to where you can find out more information. Click the image below to get started:

Thumbnail image for new Health Insurance Option eLearning

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my Medicare plan premium go up this year?

This is the first increase in premiums for the ASRS Medicare plans in more than five years, and is directly caused by three primary factors:

  • The return of federally mandated insurer fees
  • Reduction in federal Medicare reimbursements for prescription drug coverage
  • Rising health care claims costs

When insurer fees were suspended by the federal government last year, the ASRS passed those savings directly to you with a drop in premiums from 2016 to 2017. Now those fees are back in place and are larger than any prior year.

Why did my Non-Medicare (pre-65) plan premium go up this year?

Healthcare claims costs have been rising every year for at least the past ten years. Prescription drugs, procedures, tests and provider charges are all on the rise each year. This is the ASRS and UnitedHealthcare’s (UHC) best projection of premiums needed to cover claims in 2018. The ASRS is always working with UHC to find ways to reduce not only the cost of claims but to help members stay healthier and reduce the number of claims themselves. The trend of total claims increases for ASRS retirees necessitates the increases, but is in fact lower than the national average which actually lessens the potential increase each year.

Where does my premium go, if I don’t use it all up myself? (I pay thousands per year in premiums but I don’t claim nearly that much in a year.)

Premiums paid by all subscribers (the individuals purchasing the insurance, such as yourself) go toward paying the claims filed by all subscribers. This is true with any insurance plan. The ASRS and UHC will periodically audit the premium revenues versus claims expenses to ensure that revenues did not exceed a predetermined threshold per the contractual agreement between ASRS and UHC.

Why are there two different copays on the Choice plans now?

There are two reasons for varying copays this year.

  • The Premium Provider program has been added to the CHOICE plans. All UHC providers are ranked on several criteria, including quality of care and efficiency. UHC also has a Premium Provider program that incentivizes doctors and other providers to achieve positive outcomes while also mitigating costs with their patients. The providers with the highest performance are included in the Premium Provider program and as a result will have lower copays associated with them. Please note that the Premium designation is placed at the provider level. Multiple providers at a large practice could all have different designations.
  • ‘Place of service’ affects the copay for certain services on both CHOICE and NAVIGATE plans. You can save money using freestanding facilities for certain services. We encourage you to choose more cost-effective, freestanding network health care facilities (outpatient facility, diagnostic or ambulatory center, physician office or independent laboratory), instead of hospitals, for: • Outpatient diagnostic services • X-rays • Independent lab work • Scopic procedures • Surgery

How do I know what MY copay will be with my doctor? Is my doctor a Premium Provider?

Look at the provider directory on the UHC website. Doctors with two hearts next to them are designated as Premium Providers because they offer great quality of care in an efficient manner. Providers with one or fewer hearts have not yet met the criteria so the copay to see those doctors will be higher.

Is the Premium Benefit increasing to offset the rising health care premiums?

The ASRS Premium Benefit program is specifically outlined in state statute as fixed dollar amounts. The ASRS does not have the authority to provide premium benefits any differently than statute defines. The ASRS is not aware of any legislation being proposed to increase premium benefit amounts. In addition, the ASRS is statutorily prohibited from advocating for or against modification to any benefits outlined in statute.

Will I be getting a raise in my pension to help pay for this? I haven’t had a raise in 10+ years!

The Permanent Benefit Increase program (which is the program that could result in an increase in retiree pensions) is specifically outlined in statute. The ASRS does not have the authority to calculate benefit increases any differently than statute defines. The ASRS must generate excess returns over a 10-year rolling period, and given returns over the past 10 years, that has not occurred and is not likely to for several years. It is important to remember that the ASRS was designed to be one of at least 3 portions of your total retirement savings (ASRS, social security, other savings). The ASRS defined benefit plan was designed to provide you with a base retirement benefit for your lifetime. It was not designed to automatically adjust for healthcare or other types of inflation. Higher contribution rates would have had to be collected throughout the life of the plan to fund for periodic increases in retirement.
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