Blue Medicare Rx Prescription Drug Plan
The University of Vermont's new Prescription Drug Plan for Retirees who are 65 and older
Beginning on January 1, 2015, the University of Vermont and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont will partner with the federal government's Medicare Part D pharmacy program to provide Medicare-eligible retirees with prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D. This program, called an Employer Group Waiver Program (EGWP), will provide retirees the same coverage they have enjoyed—including the same formulary, copay structure and out-of-pocket maximums. This is an automatic transition, and there is nothing at all that retirees need to do.
Here are some important questions and answers related to the program:
Will UVM's new Blue Medicare Rx prescription drug plan work for Medicare-eligible retirees like the current drug benefit does?
Yes. UVM will offer the same benefits—including the same formulary, copay structure and out-of-pocket maximums that retirees have been enjoying. Your doctor will issue a prescription, your local pharmacy or mail order prescription provider will fill it, and if you have a drug copayment, you will pay it. Just like now.
Will I have to shop for a Medicare D plan?
No. Your current prescription coverage with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont will automatically be converted to this new program on January 1, 2015.
Will prescription drug copays and out of pocket limit amounts be the same?
Yes. Retirees will pay the same drug copays, and out-of-pocket limits will remain the same.
Will retirees be subject to the "donut hole" costs in Medicare D?
No. UVM's coverage will continue to "wrap around" the Medicare Part D program, just like it "wraps around" Medicare's health benefits now. Participants will pay copays just as they currently do. When individuals reach their out-of-pocket maximum, UVM will pick up 100% of the remaining cost.
Will premium contributions for UVM's Blue Medicare Rx prescription drug plan be paid for in the same way?
Yes. There will be no change to the way retirees pay their premiums.
What do I have to do to sign up for UVM's Blue Medicare Rx prescription drug plan?
Current UVM retirees who are 65 or older don't need to do anything. They will automatically be transitioned onto the new plan.
What if I get information from other Medicare Part D providers? Is it okay to sign up with them?
No! Retirees who sign up for another Medicare Part D plan will automatically lose their UVM coverage! Under a non-UVM plan, retirees will forfeit the excellent pharmacy coverage that they enjoy under the UVM plan, they may be subject to higher costs for medications, no out-of-pocket maximum will be applied to their benefit, and they will not be able to return to the UVM pharmacy plan until the next open enrollment period.
Will there be a benefit card for UVM's Blue Medicare Rx prescription drug plan?
Yes, benefit cards will be mailed as part of a large benefits package in November. Retirees and their covered dependents should each receive a card by early December. Be on the lookout for the mailing, which some may easily mistake for junk mail.
I am retireed, but not yet Medicare-eligible. My spouse is, however, Medicare eligible. Will he be enrolled in the Blue Medicare Rx prescription drug plan?
Yes, if a retiree's spouse is on the UVM plan, and if s/he is Medicare-eligible, the spouse will be automatically enrolled on the Blue Medicare Rx prescription drug plan, even if the retiree is not yet eligible for the new plan. In that case, the spouse's coverage will transition on January 1, 2015, but the retiree's coverage will not transition to the Blue Medicare Rx plan until s/he turns 65.
I have another employer's prescription drug coverage through my spouse. Do I have to switch to UVM's Blue Medicare Rx prescription drug plan?
No. If you decide to keep your other prescription drug plan, you may do so. Just remember that you must have "creditable coverage" in order to avoid any Medicare Part D penalties that may apply if you were to switch to UVM's Blue Medicare Rx prescription drug plan at a later date.
If I have prescription drug coverage from another provider, will I lose the medical portion of my UVM coverage?
No. As long as you have prescription drug coverage from another provider, you can keep the medical portion of your UVM coverage under the J Carve-out or MediComp III plan, if you so choose.
Do you have a question that isn't answered above? e-Mail HRSinfo@uvm.edu.
Last modified October 13 2014 01:09 PM