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US Health Coverage – Troubleshoot and Compare Notes

Advice and reference info from members.  (Draft Sept 15, 2017.)  (Material in gray is from the previous cycle -- will update as get the info. Also will cover HPI and HPE differences.)
This topic is covered in the HPAA's US Benefits Forum. Mutual help on health coverage -- COBRA, retirement, Medicare, open-market. Annual Enrollment, discounts.
Contact the HPAA volunteers: hpalumni.org/email 

Retiree Annual Enrollment Fairs: http://www.hpalumni.org/AnnualFair (Due to the small number of HPE retirees, there will not be any HPE retiree benefits fairs this year.)

Trap: Continuity of coverage. You have 31 days to change your health plan if you lose coverage from another employer or have a status change such as marriage or divorce.

From the Annual Enrollment Guide: http://www.hpalumni.org/Annual

- "If you opt out of coverage through HP into another employer's plan, you will still have the option to re-enroll in HP coverage if you lose that coverage. You must re-enroll within 31 days of the loss of coverage." "This could include the loss of your own coverage or the loss of coverage under your spouse or domestic partner's coverage." (2017 pages 5 and 22)

- "After the annual enrollment period is over, you generally can't make changes to your elections during the year, unless you have a qualified status change like marriage or divorce (you have 31 days to make allowed changes). You can't change your medical option because one of your providers leaves the plan's network during the year, even if a change occurs shortly following the benefit election effective date." (2017 page 8)

If you have such a change, contact the appropriate HP Benefits Center ASAP: http://www.hpalumni.org/contacts

These restrictions are not unique to HP -- or unique to health insurance. A fundamental principle of insurance is that everyone continuously pays into the pool. For example, that's why if you don't sign up for each of the various elements of Medicare when you are first eligible, you generally have to pay a late enrollment penalty for years.

Annual Enrollment Documents: http://www.hpalumni.org/Annual  (From 2017 -- but still very useful. HP will supply the new ones to HPAA, which we will post.)

Your available HP coverage depends on the answers to two questions:

1. Which Company am I a former employee or retiree of? HPI, HPE or? http://www.hpalumni.org/WhichCompany

2. Do I qualify for the "Pre-2003" program? HP's confusing phrase "Pre-2003 HP Medical Program" refers to the year in which HP'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

Benefits surprises and hazards. What I wish I had known before I left HP  From dozens of HPAA members.


- HPAA's Medicare Checklist -- 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

- If "you and all of your covered family members are eligible for Medicare" you may choose to purchase a Medicare plan through the HP-subsidized the Aon Retiree Health Exchange. See page #2 of the Annual Enrollment Guide. (pdf file page 4) http://www.hpalumni.org/Annual 

Selecting a plan. From past discussions on the Benefits Forum, of the many issues involved in picking an HP retiree health plan, there are three key issues:

1. Whether or not you have pre-existing conditions.

2. What medications you take -- which can make a huge difference in your cost.

3. Whether your current doctors are in-network for each plan.

Who to call with medical benefits issues. Who does what? - the HPAA's summary of the roles played by the Benefits Center and each of the many providers -- and how to escalate to HPI or HPE via the independent HP Alumni Association.

Non-Retirees: The most recent Annual Enrollment Guide --  http://www.hpalumni.org/2017EnrollmentGuide.pdf -- has some useful information for non-retirees -- for example those on COBRA.

Annual Enrollment for 2018.  Full set of official documents -- including supplement sheets for various situations.

Contacts -- official and unofficial contact directories for HP and HP's providers. http://www.hpalumni.org/contacts

Flexible Spending Account "Your Spending Account"

▪ Dependent Care Claim Form. http://www.hpalumni.org/YSA-DependentClaimForm.pdf   0.5MB pdf file. Includes instructions, fax number, and "Little Einstein Academy" example claim. (Form created by "Hewitt Admin" on 8/8/2012 9:13:34 AM. Sent to HPAA by HP U.S. Benefits on 3/20/13.)

▪ Health Care Claim Form. http://www.hpalumni.org/YSA-HealthCareClaimForm.pdf   0.3MB pdf file. Includes instructions, fax number, and "Associates of Dermatology" example claim. (Form created by "Hewitt Admin" on 8/8/2012 9:13:19 AM. Sent to HPAA by HP U.S. Benefits on 3/20/13.)

For more mutual help on these topics and many others, join the HP Alumni Association. You are eligible to join 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.  Thanks to the HPAA's Supporting Members, there is no charge to join the HP Alumni Association.


The Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association is an independent volunteer organization of former HP, HP Inc, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees – and current employees in the process of leaving. Operated by former employees who volunteer their time; not officially endorsed or supported. 


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