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Annual Enrollment for 2018 US Retiree and COBRA Health Coverage

Advice and reference info from members. (Updated December 6, 2017.)  Questions or comments to: info@hpalumni.org  

Page updated often -- use browser refresh button to display latest version.

Overview of US health coverage issues: http://www.hpalumni.org/health

HPAA's Medicare Study Guide -- a step-by-step process to figure out your Medicare situation -- and avoid a couple of traps -- whether an official HP Retiree or not:: http://www.hpalumni.org/medicare

For updates, join the HPAA's US Benefits Forum. Mutual help on health coverage -- COBRA, retirement, Medicare, open-market. Annual Enrollment.

There is a confirmation and mop-up cycle after the deadline. "After you enroll in HP coverage, you’ll receive a Confirmation of Coverage in the mail at home in November showing your 2018 HP elections. It's important to review your confirmation and notify the HP Benefits Center immediately if any corrections are needed. If you don't make corrections by December 28, 2017, at 6 p.m. Pacific Time (8 p.m. Central Time), you can't change your HP elections for 2018 unless you experience a qualified status change."
http://www.hpalumni.org/2018HPIEnrollmentGuide.pdf (Enrollment Guide page 7)

If you won't be able to resolve your Medicare situation by the enrollment deadline -- for example, because you can't get an Aon Retiree Health Exchange (ARHE) appointment in time, or your have an application pending for an individual Medicare plan through ARHE -- enroll in the most likely HP plan now and change later if necessary.

Many questions are answered in the Benefits Enrollment Guide: http://www.hpalumni.org/2018HPIEnrollmentGuide.pdf  (Even if you have the printed booklet, it is very helpful to download the file so that you can search this complex document using the pdf reader on your system.)  The Guide has color-coded bands across the top of each page for each type of retiree.

HPI and HPE Benefits Center contact info: HPI Benefits Center  HPE Benefits Center

Future of retiree healthcare: HP never made any commitment to provide retiree healthcare in the entire history of the company. Of HP's predecessor companies, only DEC had retiree healthcare. Prices paid by retirees will continue to rise due to the cap put in place in 2010.  Details

Copies of HPI Annual Enrollment documents available here on the HPAlumni website...

Preliminary mailers:

- Non-Medicare (pre-65): http://www.hpalumni.org/2018HPIMailer-nonMedicare.pdf 

- Medicare-Eligible (post-65): http://www.hpalumni.org/2018HPIMailer-Medicare.pdf  

Benefits Enrollment Guide: http://www.hpalumni.org/2018HPIEnrollmentGuide.pdf 

(Even if you have the printed booklet, it is very helpful to download the file so that you can search this complex document using the pdf reader on your system.) 

The 2018 Guide has color-coded bands across the top of each page:

- For everyone -- white or gray band.

- Medicare eligible -- orange band.

- Not yet Medicare-eligible -- purple band.

- Families with both Medicare-eligible and non-Medicare-eligible members -- red band.

- Be sure to read the critical info at the end of the booklet. (Called "Important reminders" -- but some of the points may be new to you.)

What's Changing Guide: http://www.hpalumni.org/2018HPIWhatsChanging.pdf

Coverage Summary documents for each available plan:

- Non-Medicare (pre-65): http://www.hpalumni.org/2018HPISummariesNonMedicare.pdf 

- Medicare-Eligible (post-65): http://www.hpalumni.org/2018HPISummariesMedicareEligible.pdf 

To easily compare plans, print the two pages for each plan you are considering, then place the printed pages side-by-side and mark them up.


(Updated and posted on HPAA Benefits Forum October 20, 2017)

Email: [HPAA Benefits] Annual Enrollment status - You do have plan choices.

Contents of this note:
- Will I get a packet?
- The cover letter implies only one choice, which is not the case.
- How to see your choices online.
- Closing points.

Will I get a packet?

If you are not currently enrolled for coverage through HPI, HPE, 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.

Which company am I a former employee or retiree of?

Trap: Continuity of coverage. If you lose coverage from another employer or have a status change such as marriage or divorce, you have 31 days to change your health plan back to HP. You would only be eligible for coverage by calling the appropriate Benefits Center within 31 days of losing your existing coverage.

As usual, we will decode the documents and discuss Annual Enrollment issues on this online forum. If you know someone who should join this forum, send them this link:

HPI Retiree Benefits Enrollment period October 16 - November 03, 2017. (HPE Oct 9 - Oct 27.)

Members are starting to report receipt in the mail.

If you don't get one by Oct 22, we suggest you call the HPI Benefits Center.
- 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

We have copies of the key documents on the HPAA website:
http://www.hpalumni.org/Annual  [You are here!]

The cover letter implies only one choice.

In this year's cover letter, the "Benefit Choices and Price Tags" table on page 3 lists only your current plan (or the closest available default plan) -- not all your alternatives as in previous years.

Page 1 of the letter does say:
"This statement show the default coverage that you'll have in 2018 if you don't make an election during the enrollment period."
and "For details about HP retiree medical coverage options, see the medical option comparison tool online. Access myhpbenefits.com ..."

We have made suggestions to HP Inc Corporate Benefits about next year's cover letter.

How to see your choices online.

If at all possible, use a device with a large screen.

This procedure was developed by a team of HPAA members. There are shortcuts, but we believe that this path will always work:

1. Go to http://www.myhpbenefits.com (Browser navigation buttons don't work on that website. When you get stuck, start over at "Take Action" on the top left.)

2. Select "2018 Retiree Benefits Annual Enrollment" in the field of photos.

3. "Review and enroll in your benefits" then the "Enroll Now" button.

3. Select the "View/Change" button to see all your available options with prices. (The "Print" icon prints only some of your data. If you want a copy, make a screenshot and print the screenshot. If using the Chrome browser, you can select you can select any area of the page with your cursor and then print with the browser's "Selection Only" printing option.)

4. Under "Related Info" to the right, select the faint blue "2018 Retiree Medical Coverage Summaries" document -- either "Non-Medicare" or "Medicare-Eligible." Note that these documents show plans for all regions, not just the plans open to you. To easily compare plans, print the two pages for each plan you are considering, then place the printed pages side-by-side and mark them up.

Note that some plans may be shown under a different name in your personalized list of choices. For example, "Anthem Senior Secure HMO" in the Medical Coverage Summaries document is marketed by Anthem as "BlueCross Medicare HMO" in Northern California. And "BCBS" means "Blue Cross / Blue Shield."

5. Depending on your available plan options, other documents such as a prescription drug list may be available under either "Related Info" or "Tools & Calculators" at the right.

6. For those with a simple set of choices -- such as no dependents -- a "Compare Medical Options" link may be available under "Tools & Calculators" at the right. This tool generates a comparison table, which prints properly. While no one has, so far, reported a discrepancy aside from different plan names, members suggest that you use the automatically-generated comparison table only as a check against your own analysis of the pages you have printed and marked up from the actual Medical Coverage Summaries document.

Closing points

One member who was ran "Compare Medical Options" said: "I used to have to do a spreadsheet to compare plans. This is a very welcome change."

Comments and corrections welcome: info@hpalumni.org

--cg, moderator
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