he State of Illinois TRAIL Medicare Advantage open enrollment period for participating annuitants and survivors is October 15 – November 15, 2018. The 2019 plan year will begin January 1, 2019, and will run through December 31, 2019.

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 TRAIL MAPD Enrollment Period features a web-based online enrollment platform entitled MyBenefits at MyBenefits.illinois.gov. This site streamlines your benefit options into a one-stop shop for your insurance needs. This includes learning more about your current insurance benefits, making enrollment decisions, changing your current coverage and finding contact information for all your plan administrators. How-to-enroll videos are on the site to walk you through the enrollment process.

Beginning October 15th, members may view and make changes to their coverage through the MyBenefits website at www.MyBenefits.illinois.gov. Paper enrollment forms will not be provided for this year’s open enrollment. Members may access this website by using the ID assigned by the Department of Central Management Services. If a members does not have their ID and wishes to log in, they may retrieve it through the website’s self-authentication process. Members also have the option to call a customer service representative for further assistance or to enroll over the phone, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. CST, toll free at 1-844-251-1777 or TTY toll free at 1-844-251-1778.

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. 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.

Members, who are new to the TRAIL Medicare Advantage plans this year, must select one of the state’s Medicare Advantage plans. Members will remain enrolled in their current state health plan through December 31, 2018. The Medicare Advantage plan the member chooses will start January 1, 2019.

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 website or contacting their service center. Members will also be sent a TRAIL flyer outlining this year’s benefits.

An Important Update for College Insurance Program (CIP) Eligible Members: On August 22, 2018, SB3046 was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner, amending legislation to allow former CIP members and dependents who previously opted-out of their health benefits plan, to be allowed to opt-back-in during an open enrollment period or other qualifying enrollment opportunity. The law was effective immediately.

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 country.

Coventry Advantra (An Aetna Company) – a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan855-223-4807
Health Alliance Plan – a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan877-795-6131
Humana Health Plan – a Medicare Advantage HMO Plan800-951-0125
United Healthcare – a nationwide Medicare Advantage PPO888-223-1092

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. 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 previously recorded video is available here.

TRAIL Seminar Schedule

Members needing assistance with their enrollment 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.

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