Retiree Open Enrollment

Benefits Open Enrollment for 2019 was October 31-November 14, 2018 and is now closed. If you made any changes, you will receive a confirmation statement, mailed to your home address in mid-November. Please review this statement immediately. If any of your elections is not what you selected, make corrections directly on your confirmation statement, sign and send back to the Benefits Office no later than December 18, 2018. You will not receive a confirmation statement if you did not make any changes.

Important Change to Pharmacy Benefit Administrator

Beginning January 1, 2019, Express Scripts (Express Scripts Medicare® for those age 65 and over) will become Harvard's new pharmacy benefits administrator for the prescription benefit that is included with all Harvard-sponsored medical plans (replacing current administrator Optum Rx). Express Scripts (Express Scripts Medicare®) offers a user-friendly, online portal and 24/7 support as well as mail order pharmacy.

All retirees who are enrolled in a Harvard-sponsored medical plan will receive a new pharmacy card, which should be used to fill prescriptions on or after January 1, 2019, along with important information about mail order prescription services and transitions.

The prescription copayment structure is not changing, although similar to most years, individual medications may change category (e.g., preferred to non-preferred). It is recommended that you have on hand at least a 3-week supply of your medications during the transition period in early January. If you need to take additional action to continue any medications, Express Scripts Medicare will contact you.

Retirees and Dependents Age 65 and Over

There are no major plan design changes to the three Senior Medical Plans for retirees and eligible dependents age 65 and over for 2019. However, as noted above, the prescription benefits administrator is changing to Express Scripts Medicare beginning January 1, 2019. You can learn more in this Frequently Asked Questions. Monthly premiums are increasing. You can review plan features and rates here:

Retirees and Dependents Under Age 65

Retirees under age 65 are covered by the medical plans available to active employees. As described above, beginning January 1, 2019, Express Scripts will become Harvard's new pharmacy benefits administrator for the prescription benefit that is included with all Harvard-sponsored medical plans (replacing Optum Rx). There are several other changes and new services for all retirees and/or eligible dependents under age 65.

Hearing Aid Benefit

The hearing aid benefit available through the Harvard-sponsored medical plans for under age 65 retirees will no longer be limited to those under age 19 beginning in 2019.

Retired Members of Local 26 who retired on or after 9/4/2014

Retired members of Local 26 and/or their dependents who are under age 65 and eligible for coverage under a Harvard-sponsored health plan will see several changes for 2019:

New Salary Tiers
For 2019, Harvard will add a new salary tier for less than $55,000 and adjust other salary tiers that are used for medical plan premiums for retired Local 26 members and eligible dependents who are under age 65.

Retirees and/or dependents in these groups who are under age 65 will be moved into one of the four medical plan premium tiers based on the retired employee’s FTE salary at retirement:

  • Salary Tier 1: < $55,000
  • Salary Tier 2: $55,000-$74,999
  • Salary Tier 3: $75,000-$99,999
  • Salary Tier 4: $100,000 and above

New Copayments:
For 2019, there will be new copayments of $100 for hospital inpatient and outpatient services and $50 for high-tech imaging, and increased copayments of $25 for non-preventive office visit and therapy and $100 for emergency room visits.

Note that these salary tiers and copayments are already in effect for retired faculty, nonunion staff, and members of other unions (with the exception of SEIU Arboretum) and their eligible dependents under age 65.

Retirees and eligible dependents under age 65 should refer to the Open Enrollment Guide for their group for additional information on 2019 benefits, including for side-by-side comparisons of health plans and rates.