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Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment

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Posted: 
October 6, 2016
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The state of Illinois offers annuitants and survivors a healthcare program called Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL). This program provides eligible members and their covered dependents comprehensive medical and prescription drug coverage through Medicare Advantage plans (commonly referred to as "MAPD" plans). The State of Illinois Group Insurance Program also includes vision coverage and optional dental and life insurance coverage.

The State of Illinois TRAIL Medicare Advantage open enrollment period for participating annuitants and survivors is October 14 - November 15, 2016. The 2017 plan year will begin January 1, 2017, and will run through December 31, 2017.

The state has partnered with Morneau Shepell to introduce a new web-based online enrollment platform entitled MyBenefits at www.MyBenefits.illinois.gov. This new site streamlines benefit options into a one-stop shop for members' insurance needs. This includes learning more about current insurance benefits, making enrollment decisions, changing current coverage and finding contact information for plan administrators. You may access information about this year's TRAIL Medicare Advantage during the open enrollment period, October 14 - November 15, 2016.

The online system is user-friendly and comprehensive with the goal of providing information 24/7 and allowing members to make changes in real-time. The site will not only allow members to make benefit elections during open enrollment, but will also allow them to add/or drop dependents mid-year due to a qualifying change in status, or correct personal information.

Please note: this innovative system at www.MyBenefits.illinois.gov, is accessible via computer, smartphone or tablet. Of course, members also have the option to call a customer service representative for further assistance or enrollment over the phone, Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. CST toll-free at 1-844-251-1777 or TDD/TTY toll-free at 1-844-251-1778. Members are encouraged to enroll online during the open enrollment period.

Newly Eligible Members
Members newly eligible for the TRAIL Medicare Advantage Program will be required to enroll during the TRAIL Open Enrollment period which runs October 14 - November 15, 2016, via the MyBenefits at www.MyBenefits.illinois.gov. To access the website, members will be required to register using information pertinent to them for self-authentication. Members will be asked to verify five unique characteristics including last name, first two characters of their first name, last four digits of their Social Security number, date of birth and home zip code to register. Once registered, members will be issued their CMS-issued Employee ID Number (EIN), which they will need whenever they log in to the site. If a member loses their EIN, they will be able to retrieve it through the self-authentication process.

Newly-eligible annuitants and survivors should receive a TRAIL Enrollment packet in October. Members should look for the TRAIL logo (as shown above) on the outside of the packet. The packet includes the TRAIL Decision Guide and a paper enrollment form. However, members may use the MyBenefits or service center to enroll. The guide includes an explanation of the plan options, plan comparison chart, rate chart, county-by-county coverage map, FAQs, and contact information for the plan administrators.

If a member is currently enrolled in one of the TRAIL Medicare Advantage plans, their enrollment will continue - they do not need to do anything unless they want to make a change. If members want to make a change to their current Medicare Advantage health plan election, or change dental, life or dependent coverage, they may do so by accessing the MyBenefits or contacting their service center.

Members, who are new to the TRAIL Medicare Advantage plans this year, must select one of the state's Medicare Advantage plans. Members who complete the TRAIL enrollment form must submit the form to SURS, P.O. Box 2710, Champaign, Illinois 61825. The form should be received on or before November 16, 2016. Members will remain enrolled in their current state health plan through December 31, 2016. The Medicare Advantage plan the member chooses will start January 1, 2017.

Members who are eligible for the College Insurance Program (CIP) and not currently enrolled, but wish to enroll in the Medicare Advantage plan during open enrollment, will need to contact SURS for an enrollment packet.

Canary Yellow Letter from the Illinois Department of Central Management Services Newly eligible SURS members should receive a letter (on canary yellow paper) notifying them of the TRAIL Medicare Advantage enrollment period.

All Illinois counties have an HMO and PPO option. Annuitants and survivors residing outside Illinois may elect the PPO option available nationwide. Refer to this year's TRAIL Decision Guides for complete information.

College Insurance Program TRAIL Decision Guide
View a map of Medicare Advantage Plans by county.

State of Illinois Group Insurance Program TRAIL Decision Guide
View a map of Medicare Advantage Plans by county.

Available Plans
The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) has contracts with the following Medicare Advantage Plans:

Coventry Advantra - a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan 855-223-4807
www.aetna-coventryretiree.com/soi
Health Alliance Plan - a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan 877-795-6131
www.healthallianceretiree.org/soi
Humana Health Plan - a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan 800-951-0125
www.humana.com/soi
Humana Benefit Plan - a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan offered in Livingston and Knox Counties 800-951-0125
www.humana.com/soi
United Healthcare -a nationwide Medicare Advantage PPO 888-223-1092
www.uhcretiree.com/soi

TRAIL Educational Webinars and Seminars
TRAIL educational seminars are available during the month of October at select locations throughout the state. See link below for details. However, if you are unable to attend in person, you can log on to your computer, smartphone or tablet to view the seminar via live-stream webinar on October 11 from either 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Log in at www.MyBenefits.illinois.gov. Click on the TRAIL tile and watch from the comforts of your home. If you are unable to attend the live webinar, a video will be available at www.MyBenefits.illinois.gov or https://multimedia.illinois.gov/cms/TRAIL-live.html.

TRAIL Seminar Schedule

Members needing assistance with the enrollment form should call the MyBenefits service center at 1-844-251-1777 or TDD/TTY toll-free at 1-844-251-1778.

Members may also access information directly from the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) website. SURS will continue to post up-to-date information on our website as we receive it from CMS. Please read the information provided by CMS carefully. If you still have questions, please call SURS at 800-257-7877 or 217-378-8800.

Complete program information for both the College Insurance (CIP) and the State Employees' Group Health Program is available on the MyBenefits at www.MyBenefits.illinois.gov.

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