Retiree Benefits Open Enrollment

2020 Open Enrollment will be held October 23-November 6, 2019

During Open Enrollment, you can make the following changes to your benefits. Changes are effective January 1, 2020:

  • Change, elect or drop medical coverage
  • Add or drop an eligible dependent
  • Drop dental coverage. If you drop dental coverage, this change is permanent – you will never be able to re-enroll in the future.

Coverage for Retirees and Dependents Age 65 and Older

There are no plan design changes to the three senior medical plans for retirees and eligible dependents age 65 and over for 2020. Retirees and/or their eligible dependents age 65 and older may choose from among three senior medical plans:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Medex
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) Medicare Enhance
  • Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO

Monthly premium costs have increased for 2020 for all three senior plans and it is important for retirees to review the new costs. You can review the medical plan features and 2020 rates here:

For 2020, there will be two new coverage levels for some retirees under the Harvard retiree dental plan; see below for details.

The August announcement of a merger between Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan does not impact the Harvard senior health plan options at this time. Harvard Benefits has no further information than what has been published and while the merger agreement was approved by both organizations’ boards, local and federal regulatory approval is still required. As we learn if there will be any changes to the Harvard senior plan offerings, HPHC Medicare Enhance and Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO, we will provide additional information to affected retirees.

Coverage for Retirees and Dependents Under Age 65

Retirees and/or their eligible dependents under age 65 may enroll in the plans available to active employees (depending on employee group/union and retirement date). There are changes for retirees and/or eligible dependents under age 65.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) Will Replace Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC)

Effective January 1, 2020, BCBSMA will replace HPHC. BCBSMA has the largest provider network in New England, and includes nearly 99% of the providers in the HPHC network that are used by Harvard members, and many more.

Based on a provider analysis of the HPHC and BCBSMA networks, we anticipate minimal provider disruption as a result of this change.

You can check whether your doctor is in the BCBSMA network by calling the Harvard-dedicated BCBSMA member services call line at 888-389-7732 or going to their website. Click on “Select your network to continue [not logged in]” and choose the following networks from the dropdown menu:

  • For the HMO, POS, and POS+ select “HMO Blue New England”
  • For the PPO, PPO+, and HDHP select “PPO or EPO”

You may also check directly with your provider(s), referring to the plan names above.

For 2020, you will be able to select from an array of medical plan options offered by Harvard University Group Health Plan (HUGHP) and BCBSMA. If you are currently enrolled in an HPHC plan and do not make an election during Open Enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled in a corresponding BCBSMA plan, as shown below; you will receive your new BCBSMA card by mail in mid-December.

IF YOU ARE IN THIS HPHC PLAN

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2020 YOU WILL BE COVERED UNDER THIS BCBSMA PLAN

HPHC HMO

BCBSMA HMO

HPHC POS

BCBSMA POS
(If you reside outside of New England, BCBS PPO*)

HPHC POS+

BCBSMA POS+**
(If you reside outside of New England, BCBS PPO+*)

HPHC or HUGHP HDHP

BCBSMA HDHP**

*Only available to retirees under age 65 who reside outside of New England.
**Available only to retired faculty and nonunion staff, HUCTW retired prior to 7/5/11, and other unions retired prior to 9/4/14.

You will receive your new BCBSMA card by mail in mid-December. Although, there are no changes to prescription coverage, anyone moving to BCBSMA coverage will also receive a new Express Scripts card in December that should be used when filling prescriptions beginning January 1, 2020.

There are no changes to copayments, coinsurance, or deductible levels as a result of the move to BCBSMA, except a consolidation of the High Deductible Health Plan, as described below. Express Scripts will continue to manage pharmacy benefits. There is no change to the $150 annual fitness reimbursement.

You can learn more in these FAQs. You are encouraged to review all plans offered by the University so that you can choose the one that’s best for you and your family.

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) coverage will be consolidated under BCBSMA

For 2020, coverage under an HDHP will be consolidated under BCBSMA. If you are currently enrolled in an HDHP plan and do not actively make an election during Open Enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled in the BCBSMA HDHP, as shown in the chart above. The BCBSMA HDHP provider network includes Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) providers along with access to the BCBSMA PPO network. See above for information on How to Check Your Current Providers.

You will receive your new BCBSMA card by mail in mid-December. Although, there are no changes to prescription coverage, anyone moving to BCBSMA coverage will also receive a new Express Scripts card in December that should be used when filling prescriptions beginning January 1, 2020.

New Coverage Levels for Medical Plans

You will have access to two additional coverage levels for your medical benefits beginning in 2020 if you are a:

  • Retired faculty, administrative and professional staff or nonunion support staff member
  • HUCTW member who retired prior to 7/5/2011
  • HUSPMGU or Local 26 member who retired before 9/4/14
  • Member of the ATC, HUPA, SEIU Custodian unions

These new levels also apply to retiree dental plans; see below for details.

With this change, no action is required. You will automatically be placed in one of the coverage levels below, based on the dependents you currently cover, unless you elect to change your coverage level by adding or removing eligible dependents. If you add a dependent, you will be required to provide documentation.

COVERAGE LEVELS

Retiree only

NEW! NEW! Retiree + eligible spouse/domestic partner (DP)

NEW! Retiree + eligible child(ren)

Family (retiree, eligible spouse/DP + child(ren))

Learn more

The 2020 Open Enrollment Guides provide an overview of benefit options, side-by-side comparison of health plan, and plan rates to help as you review your options:

New Coverage Levels for Delta Dental Plan for Retirees

For 2020, Harvard will introduce two new coverage levels for the Harvard Retiree Dental Plan (available upon retirement to eligible retirees).

With this change, no action is required. If you are enrolled in the retiree dental plan and are in one of these groups:

  • Retired faculty, administrative and professional staff or nonunion support staff
  • HUCTW members who retired before 7/5/2011
  • HUSPMGU or Local 26 members who retired before 9/4/14
  • Retired ATC, HUPA, and SEIU Custodian members

You will be automatically placed in one of the following coverage level based on the dependents you currently cover.

DENTAL PLAN COVERAGE LEVELS

Retiree only

NEW! NEW! Retiree + eligible spouse/domestic partner (DP)

NEW! Retiree + eligible child(ren)

Family (retiree, eligible spouse/DP + child(ren))

Other groups will continue to have two coverage levels – Retiree only and Family. There is no change to the closed HURA Dental Plan. You may not newly enroll in dental coverage during Open Enrollment.

How to Make Changes

If you are retired and want to make a change for 2020, please call Harvard Human Resources Benefits at 617-496-4001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday or email benefits@harvard.edu by November 6, 2019 to request the necessary forms, which will be sent to you. No action is required if you do not want to make any changes.