As you probably know, Verizon sent out a letter to retirees regarding a new group Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) for 2013. I spoke with Donna Chiffriller, Verizon’s Vice President of Human Resources, who clarified some questions and concerns.
Below is a list of questions and answers:
What precipitated this change?
Verizon has studied alternative Medicare Part D strategies each year since the Medicare Part D program was introduced in 2006. However, the recent changes in the Part D program introduced by the federal health care reform act have made contracting with a Medicare Part D plan on a group basis a preferable option to the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RSD).
Does this mean that Medicare retirees will now be part of Medicare Part D program?
Yes and no. In 2013, Medicare-eligible retiree medical plan participants will be enrolled in the Verizon Medicare Part D plan and will not be required to pay the Medicare Part D premium. This change will essentially be seamless to retirees, except that they will need to use a new prescription drug ID card at retail pharmacies.
What about the Medicare Part D “donut hole”?
This change does not require that Verizon change plan designs available to retirees (for example: deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance); therefore, there will be no “donut hole” in the coverage.
This change does not require that Verizon change plan designs available to retirees (for example: deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance); however, as we all know, other factors might possibly increase the costs or result in changes in plan options and designs at any time. This is why it is very important that all retirees join and support ProtectSeniors.Org, which is working to secure retiree healthcare benefits through legislation that will make reduction or termination of these benefits against the law.
PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO ANY OF YOUR FELLOW VERIZON RETIREES. ALSO PLEASE ENCOURAGE THEM TO JOIN, IF THEY ARE NOT ALREADY A MEMBER. THEY CAN GO TO www.belltelretirees.org and CLICK “JOIN US” OR EMAIL US AT firstname.lastname@example.org.