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US Annual Enrollment for 2017 -- October 10-28, 2016.

Here are the Enrollment Guide and related documents from the previous annual enrollment cycle -- i.e. for the 2017 cycle:

Information for the current annual enrollment cycle -- i.e. the 2018 cycle is being collected here as we receive it.

Advice and reference info from members. (Updated March 8, 2017.)
Covered in HPAA US Benefits Forum. Mutual help on health coverage -- COBRA, retirement, Medicare, open-market. Decoding Annual Enrollment. Other company-administered benefits such as discounts.
Contact the HPAA volunteers: info@hpalumni.org 

There is a mop-up and confirmation cycle after the enrollment deadline. "...in November you’ll receive a Confirmation of Coverage in the mail at home showing your 2017 HP coverage. Review your confirmation and notify the HP Benefits Center immediately if any corrections are needed. If you don’t make corrections before December 30, 2016, you can’t change your HP elections for 2017 unless you experience a qualified status change." (Enrollment Guide page 7)  One member indicates: "I have confirmed several time that this includes 'split families' where the non-retiree member becomes Medicare eligible. It is a life event for both sides of the split. You both get to change plans."

If you won't be able to resolve your situation by the enrollment deadline -- for example, because you can't determine if your providers are in-network, or 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 then clean up later.

However, it is wise to make your selection as soon as possible -- just in case something goes awry and you need to correct it. Also increases the chance that you will get your health cards before January 1.

You don't have to wait for the mail.  See below for how to get everything online.

Even if you are not changing your plan, you need to go through the materials carefully. There are major changes. A few examples:

- Medicare supplement plans that used to be available as group plans directly from HP are instead generally available via the HP-subsidized Aon Retiree Health Exchange. (See the Medicare section of Annual Enrollment Guide for how to contact ARHE, which is a separate subsidiary of Aon.)

- UHC is no longer the administrator for HP's group plans in most parts of the country.

Why you may not receive a packet. If you are not currently enrolled for coverage through HP, you will not receive an annual enrollment packet as you are not eligible to enroll for benefits during the annual enrollment period. You would only be eligible for coverage by calling the Benefits Center within 31 days of losing your existing coverage from a different employer. (See Enrollment Guide pages 5 and 22: http://www.hpalumni.org/2017EnrollmentGuide.pdf )

If you haven't received a packet, call the Benefits Center. HPI Benefits Center  HPE Benefits Center

The confusing term "Pre-2003 HP Medical Program" refers to the year in which Hewlett-Packard's US retiree medical program was redesigned -- not the year you retired. Regardless of when you retired, depending on your length of service and other factors, you may qualify for the US "Pre-2003" program. Details: http://www.hpalumni.org/Pre2003

Get the information you need online:

1. Download the appropriate non-Medicare and/or Medicare mailer(s) from the HPAA site: 
Non-Medicare: http://www.hpalumni.org/2017Mailer-nonMedicare.pdf  [<1MB searchable pdf file from HP] 
Medicare: http://www.hpalumni.org/2017Mailer-Medicare.pdf  [<1MB searchable pdf file from HP] 

2. Download the Annual Enrollment Guide from the HPAA site http://www.hpalumni.org/2017EnrollmentGuide.pdf  [11MB searchable pdf file from HP]

3. Download the appropriate "Important retiree benefits enrollment information" supplement sheet(s) for your situation. [Small 80KB searchable files from HP.]

- Pre-2003 Plan -- Not in 2014 or 2016 Phased Retirement Program: "Important retiree benefits enrollment information -- Pre-2003 HP Retiree Medical Program"   ("non-PRP" in tiny type at bottom of page; H000177196.)  http://www.hpalumni.org/2017-Pre2003-NonPRP-196.pdf 

- Pre-2003 Plan -- In 2014 or 2016 Phased Retirement Program: "Important retiree benefits enrollment information -- Pre-2003 HP Retiree Medical Program"   ("PRP" in tiny type at bottom of page, H000177194.)  http://www.hpalumni.org/2017-Pre2003-PRP-194.pdf  Per HP, the section "HP premium reimbursements for Aon Retiree Health Exchange coverage" on the non-PRP sheet applies to people on the Pre-2003 plan who took PRP. Therefore, also download: http://www.hpalumni.org/2017-Pre2003-NonPRP-196.pdf 

- Post-2002 Plan -- Not in 2014 or 2016 Phased Retirement Program: "Important retiree benefits enrollment information -- participants in the HP Retiree Medical Program" ("non-PRP" in tiny type at bottom of page; H000177197.)  http://www.hpalumni.org/2017-Post2002-NonPRP-197.pdf 

- Post-2002 Plan -- In 2014 or 2016 Phased Retirement Program: "Important retiree benefits enrollment information -- participants in the HP Retiree Medical Program"   ("PRP" in tiny type at bottom of page; H000177195.)  http://www.hpalumni.org/2017-Post2002-PRP-195.pdf 

- DEC Retirees, please go to: http://www.hpalumni.org/2017DECCoverLetters.htm

Your retiree medical program is either Pre-2003, Post-2002, or DEC. The program names are based on when they were created. The program your are on is based on your overall HP employment history, not your year of retirement. Here's our copy of HP's official table of who is eligible for which program: http://www.hpalumni.org/Pre2003  (For those who don't know, the Phased Retirement Program was in 2014 and again in 2016. Hours and pay were reduced in stages.)

4. Log in to http://www.myhpbenefits.com to download the Health Plan Comparison booklet (a two-page table of coverage details for each plan.) And to see and print your choices and prices.

(Note on pdf files: If you click on a pdf file and it doesn't come up automatically in your browser, go to http://get.adobe.com/reader to get a free, genuine copy of Adobe Reader for Windows, Mac, or Android. Be sure to uncheck the pre-checked boxes that give Adobe permission to install unrelated software or change your default browser.)

Even if you have a paper copy of a document, it is very helpful to use Adobe Reader's search feature to find specific words or phrases in a pdf file. (Either hit F3 to search for words or phrases -- or hover over the lower edge of a page for a popup. Click on the "swirl" icon at the right of the popup to get the Adobe toolbar.)

If you are eligible for Medicare:

1. Learn about Medicare with the HPAA's Medicare Study Guide:  http://www.hpalumni.org/medicare 

2. To check if a doctor or hospital accepts Medicare -- and see quality ratings -- go to https://www.medicare.gov 


Download the HP retiree Medicare mailer from the HPAA site: 
Medicare: http://www.hpalumni.org/2017Mailer-Medicare.pdf  [<1MB searchable pdf file from HP] 

Read pages 10-14 of the Annual Enrollment Guide: http://www.hpalumni.org/2017EnrollmentGuide.pdf  [11MB searchable pdf file from HP]

Note that there are two very different HP retiree Medicare options::
• Medicare Advantage PPO or other options provided through the HP Retiree Medical Program; and
• Plans offered on the individual insurance market, through the Aon Retiree Health Exchange.


5. UHC Medicare Advantage PPO: 

Read UHC's presentation on their website. Go to: https://www.uhcretiree.com/hp/home and click "Enroll in a plan" toward the upper right. Reduce the volume setting on your device (the presentation plays at deafening volume.) Then click the "play" button in the center of the screen. Rather than listening to the full-text slides read aloud, you can save time by using the right and left cursor keys to read the slides. You can print any page.

"Beginning Jan 1st, 2017, simply use your UnitedHealthcare member ID card each time you go to the doctor or hospital or get a prescription filled at the pharmacy. Don't discard your red, white, and blue Medicare card; keep it in a safe place!" (Slide 40) 

UHC: 1-877-456-7240, 8am to 8pm local time, 7 days a week. (Slide 3)

At the time this plan was introduced, HP ambiguously said: "You can use any Medicare provider who accepts the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage PPO option." (Enrollment Guide, page 10)


6. Aon


Sources of price comparisons:

- Non-Medicare: https://www.healthcare.gov (Affordable Care Act website.)

- Medicare: All plans available in your area -- with cost estimates: https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/

In-network? Members advise not to rely on second-hand or verbal information on this vital point. Check that your current doctor and hospital are in-network in any plan you are considering by going to the plan's official website and doing a search. To check if a doctor or hospital accepts Medicare -- and see quality ratings -- go to https://www.medicare.gov 

Prescriptions during transition. Work with your doctor and pharmacist to order ahead during any transition in prescription coverage. While transitions usually work, members have reported harrowing experiences that required emergency intervention by the Benefits Center

State advice and assistance organizations:
- Medicare:
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs https://www.shiptacenter.org
- ACA: Consumer Assistance Programs: https://www.cms.gov/cciio/resources/consumer-assistance-grants

Health insurance agents. Many ex-HPers do not qualify for an HP health insurance plan -- or, even if they do, have low years-of-service or another situation such that they should consider non-HP alternatives. An experienced independent insurance agent licensed to sell health insurance in your state can help you sort through the complexity -- and adds nothing to the cost of the plan you purchase from them.

HPI and HPE Benefits Centers: The "cosmic glue" for all US benefits issues.
Phone numbers and member advice: HPI Benefits Center  HPE Benefits Center


If you aren't receiving mailings, check your mailing address online. You should have received a postcard in September. The Benefits Center sends them as a way to verify people's postal addresses. (The postcards are easily overlooked -- they look like sales junkmail rather than critical official communications.) You can verify your postal and email addresses at http://www.myhpbenefits.com
1. "My Resources" -- gray on light gray band.
2. Under "Health and Insurance," blue "UPoint" link.
3. "Your Profile" -- gray on black band. "Manage Communications." 

Join the HPAA Benefits Forum  -- ongoing discussions among those receiving US HP-administered benefits. Health coverage, annual enrollment, discounts... Join Benefits Forum

Escalate to HP via the HPAA. While the HPAA is an independent volunteer organization and is not endorsed or supported by the company, we do have informal escalation paths into HPI Corporate and HPE Corporate to raise issues with the Benefits Center (outsourced to Aon Hewitt.) For HP-subsidized individual Medicare plans purchased through the Aon Retiree Health Exchange, we have an informal escalation path to that Aon subsidiary. hpalumni.org/escalate      

HP Continuum. A good idea to join HP's official "HP Continuum" site. (We suggest that you set up your HP Continuum account directly rather than joining via a social networking account. Otherwise, you are giving HP's third-party provider, Conenza, access to that account. For example, if you joined via LinkedIn, HP's previous Continuum outsourcer notified all your LinkedIn connections that you had just retired -- even if you were still in the workforce. You need to maintain control over your professional and social networking.) Set up your HP Continuum account directly at https://www.hpcontinuum.com


See also: HP-administered benefits -- COBRA, troubleshooting retiree health coverage, discounts...

For more mutual help on this topic and many others, join the independent HP Alumni Association. If you were formerly a regular, direct employee of Hewlett-Packard, HP Inc, or Hewlett Packard Enterprise -- or have a defined retirement or termination date, join the HPAA. No charge, thanks to HPAA members.

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