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1. Medicare Decoder    2. Basics    3. Advantage vs. Original    4. Compare Plans    5. Via HP or HPE    6. Trouble; Contacts

2b. Tips on working with Alight Retiree Health Solutions. If receiving benefits from or subsidized by HP (now legally named HP Inc.) or from HPE.

Advice and reference info from members. (Updated Dec 8, 2022.)  Website operated by volunteers. Not officially endorsed or supported. Comments: info@hpalumni.org

AlightRHS sometimes sends letters before HP/HPE. If your current group plan is no longer available via HP/HPE, the AlightRHS letter will bluntly say that your group plan has been "terminated."

You may have two alternatives for your HP/HPE Medicare coverage -- depending on your retiree medical program:

1. Group Medicare plans are administered by the HP and HPE Benefits Centers. Can be much more expensive than similar individual plans purchased on the highly-competitive open market. Details and member advice: https://www.hpalumni.org/medicare-group

2. Open-market Medicare plans -- discussed on this page -- are administered by Alight Retiree Health Solutions (AlightRHS), subsidized by HP or HPE. Premiums are based on the competitive market. They reflect the underlying cost of care across all the customers of a particular carrier's plan.

Member tips on working with AlightRHS

- To purchase an open-market plan, you work with an AlightRHS Benefits Advisor, who is a licensed insurance agent by your state.

- They do not have information on -- and would not be legally allowed to discuss -- the group plans available from HP or HPE.

- Get your AlightRHS appointment early! In some states, AlightRHS doesn't have a sufficient number of licensed agents. You are competing for attention with employees and retirees of 150 other organizations.

- AlightRHS agents vary in level of experience. Because AlightRHS helps people get their state insurance sales license, that job is an entry path into the insurance brokerage industry.

-AlightRHS Benefits Advisors receive sales commissions for plans they place in your cart.

- Given AlightRHS's limited availability of licensed and experienced agents in some states, it is best to explore your options online before talking to AlightRHS. You can do that without creating an AlightRHS account or disturbing your current plan choices. Member advice: https://www.hpalumni.org/Medicare-ARHSComparison

- AlightRHS does not offer all Medicare plans potentially available in your area. All plans are listed on the official Medicare site:
Advantage Plans:   https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/  
Medigap and Drug Plans: https://www.medicare.gov/medigap-supplemental-insurance-plans/

Prominent examples of plans that were not on the Alight website for 2022:

  - AARP/UHC. Not all AARP Medicare plans are on the list of plans available from insurance sales agencies such as AlightRHS -- you have to explicitly ask the advisor for the AARP/UHC plans. (Our AlightRHS contact indicated that this is "UHC AARP's marketing requirement.") Check the AARP/UHC website to see what is available in your local area: https://www.aarpmedicareplans.com To buy a Medicare Supplement plan, you need to join the AARP -- well worth the $16 per year for the publications and other benefits. Alight will ask you for your member number, which needs to be current. You do not need to be an AARP member to buy an AARP Advantage or Drug plan.

  - Kaiser. Kaiser individual Medicare HMO plans are generally not on the list of plans available from insurance sales agencies -- including AlightRHS.

  - Regence. For 2022, AlightRHS offered the popular Regence plans in ID -- unclear if available from AlightRHS in OR, UT, or WA.  

- The list price for a given plan is the same whether you purchase it through AlightRHS or any other sales agency. You pay the list price directly to the insurance carrier or HMO. Once AlightRHS receives their commission from the carrier or HMO, your RRA or RMSA subsidy is paid directly to you by HP or HPE. Details: https://www.hpalumni.org/medicare-RRA

- COBRA premiums and long-term care premiums are not reimbursable through your RRA. Many other expenses are reimbursable. Details on reimbursable expenses and how to document them:  https://www.hpalumni.org/medicare-RRA

- If you have a problem, you work through AlightRHS -- the insurance agency you purchased from. HP/HPE and their Benefits Centers have no relationship with your insurance carrier or HMO. AlightRHS has a special group to escalate issues with  carriers and HMOs.

You must carefully compare the alternatives yourself.

Overview of the AlightRHS alternative. https://www.hpalumni.org/medicare-open-market

Next page: How to explore the AlightRHS alternative - online before you call. https://www.hpalumni.org/medicare-ARHS-online


Deadlines. The HP and HPE enrollment deadlines are much earlier than the Dec 7, 2022 national Medicare deadline to adjust your coverage for the next calendar year. (The national deadline does not apply if you have qualified life event during the year -- such as starting Medicare.)

If you won't be able to resolve your Medicare situation by the HP/HPE enrollment deadline -- for example, because you can't get an AlightRHS advisor appointment in time, or you have an application pending for an individual Medicare plan through AlightRHS -- HP and HPE recommend that you enroll in the best HP/HPE plan now and change later if necessary.

There is a confirmation and mop-up cycle after the stated HP/HPE deadline. However, members report that changes made too far after the original deadline may not be in place at your providers by January 1.

HPInc: "You must make corrections by December 16, 2022, at 6 p.m. Pacific Time (8 p.m. Central Time). After that date, you won’t be able to make changes for 2023 unless you experience a qualified status change and call the HP Benefits Center within 60 days."
--HP Enrollment Guides.

HPE: " If you need to correct your elections, notify the HPE Benefits Center before December 31, 2022."
--HPE Enrollment Guide

You can change back to an HP/HPE group plan from AlightRHS individual coverage, as indicated in your Annual Enrollment Guide.

If you have a problem, contact the insurance agency you purchased from. In the case of AlightRHS, contact your Advisor. If the Advisor can't resolve your problem, they escalate it to AlightRHS' special group of Advocates. (Because your are buying an open-market policy via the agency , the company -- HP or HPE -- is out of the picture -- except for providing  the subsidy.) Contact the Benefits Center if there are problems with the subsidy payments. Troubleshooting and contacts

If formerly a regular, direct U.S. employee of HP or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join the HP Alumni Association. No charge, thanks to HPAA's Supporting Members.

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