We want to know what retirees like about the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Medicare medical plans and what could be better. The insights our members provide will help HCA and the PEB Board shape future policy discussions as well as how we communicate important information about changes. From cost to coverage, your voice can make a difference.
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Learn more about an option to keep UMP Classic Medicare affordable
PEBB retirees expressed the importance of preserving UMP Classic Medicare as a plan option for PEBB Medicare retirees. They also shared concerns that the premium is becoming too expensive. In response, HCA is exploring ways to make the plan more affordable. These options will be discussed with the PEB Board in early 2024.
HCA is providing retirees an opportunity to share their thoughts on an option to keep UMP Classic Medicare more affordable. Learn more and share feedback.
UMP Classic Medicare will remain an option for any PEBB Medicare retiree. The PEB Board is evaluating an option for 2025 to lower premiums and maintain high quality benefits and coverage for UMP Classic Medicare, by transitioning from current creditable drug coverage to a Part D plan.
We will use feedback we receive to:
- Report to the PEB Board to help guide future benefit designs and proposals.
- Inform HCA and the plans on how we can better serve our members.
- PEBB Retiree Medicare Benefits - Report to the Legislature provides an overview of the PEBB Program Medicare retiree benefits, a summary of the 2023 listening sessions, a comparison of state-sponsored health benefits for public sector Medicare retirees, and options and considerations to reduce UMP Medicare premiums.
- Letter to Washington State Congressional Delegation members was sent by HCA Director Sue Birch on June 15, 2023. This letter alerted our Congressional Delegation of the issue with Uniform Medical Plan Classic Medicare not being eligible for federal subsidies and asks them for help.
- PEB Board meeting presentations. Throughout the 2023 and 2024 PEB Board seasons, there were Medicare Update presentations. See the presentations and listen to the meeting audio.
Have a question not listed below? Email HCA PEBB Medicare.
- Is UMP Classic Medicare closing?
No, this plan is not closing. There was discussion of closing the plan at a PEB Board meeting during the summer of 2022, but the proposal was not supported by the Board. Read more about UMP Classic Medicare.
- If I enroll in a PEBB Medicare Advantage plan, can I enroll in a different PEBB plan later?
Yes. You can change to any PEBB Medicare plan for which you are eligible during the annual open enrollment period.
You can also change your medical plan during a special open enrollment if you have a qualifying life event such as getting married or moving out of a plan’s coverage area.
- I'm a Medicare retiree. Where can I find a comparison of PEBB plans available to me?
You can find the month premiums in the Retiree monthly premiums.
- Myth: If I sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan through PEBB and I want to go back to Original Medicare, I will be subject to pre-existing conditions or underwriting limits.
Fact: If you are in PEBB, you can switch from any Medicare plan (Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug, or Medicare Supplement) to any other PEBB Medicare plan for which you are eligible.
Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD)
- Myth: I've been in my plan for years, so I don't have to pay attention to what PEBB offers.
Fact: Every year PEBB works with the carriers to update plan benefits and premiums. It's a good idea to check and see if there are any changes. In fact, there may be new plan offerings since you first enrolled that you may not be aware of.
- Myth: My brother has a Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 premium. That's a much better deal than anything I could get through PEBB.
Fact: While there may be plans on the commercial market that have a $0 premium, those plans come with limitations and designs that are less desirable than the PEBB plans.
For example, the commercial plan might be with a limited network (known as an HMO) that prevents you from seeing doctors outside the network. The maximum limit on what you might have to spend out-of-pocket might be very high with a commercial plan.
- Myth: All Medicare Advantage plans are the same.
Fact: Medicare Advantage plans offered by PEBB are Employer Group Medicare Advantage plans. These are different from commercial (individual) plans.
PEBB Plans can offer lower premiums and better benefits, troubleshooting through PEBB, and expanded prescription drug coverage.
- Myth: If a plan costs less it must not be able to offer the same coverage.
- Some plans may have lower premiums but much higher copays or limits on out-of-pocket expenses.
- Medicare Advantage plans receive federal subsidies, which lower premiums.
- HMO plans control costs through network restrictions but still provide comprehensive coverage.
- Myth: PEBB has no information about what you need to do when you plan to retire.
Fact: PEBB offers monthly webinars about retirement planning.
You can also visit the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) website, which offers webinars too.