Health Plan: Choose Coverage
Continuation of medical and/or dental coverage requires timely action. In order to have health care coverage after separation, the participant must be eligible and take the following three steps:
- Choose health care coverage.
- Enroll as soon as possible to avoid an interruption in coverage.
- Pay the premium to initiate coverage.
The Health Care / COBRA enrollment packets will be mailed out beginning July 11th for those with a separation date of June 30th. Election of IU-sponsored Health Care plans must be submitted within 60 days from the date of separation or the date of the Health Care / COBRA offer letter, whichever is later.
Eligibility for IU-sponsored Health Care Plans
- Employees, who are not covered under an IU-sponsored medical plan at the time of separation, are not eligible for IU-sponsored health care coverage as an ERIP participant.
- Employees and their family members, who are covered under an IU-sponsored medical plan at the time of separation, are eligible to continue IU-sponsored health care coverage.
- For participants without IU Retiree Status, eligibility ends at age 65.
- ERIP participants must be enrolled in IU-sponsored medical coverage in order for family members to be eligible except in the case of a surviving spouse and/or children who may continue coverage after the death of the participant if the participant has IU Retiree Status.
- The participant and family members do not have to be enrolled in the same medical plan, and often are not since coverage is based on age. As long as coverage is continuous, the participant and family members may move from one IU-sponsored plan to another at the time of certain milestones such as cessation of COBRA eligibility or attaining Medicare eligibility (age 65).
- Participants who decline IU coverage at separation or drop IU-sponsored coverage later are not eligible to enroll at a later time.
- Dependent child eligibility ends at the end of the month in which the child reaches age 26.
Options for Continuing IU-sponsored Health Care Plans
Employees separating under the Early Retirement Incentive Plan and their family members covered under IU-sponsored medical and dental plans have the following options to continue IU-coverage when leaving university employment.
Those with IU Retiree Status: may continue coverage in the medical plans IU offers to Retirees. These include:
- COBRA continuation of current coverage (up to 18 months or age 65 whichever comes first),
- The Retiree PPO $900 Deductible plan for those under age 65, and
- The Blue Retiree Medicare Supplement for those age 65 or older.
Those without IU Retiree Status: may continue in an IU-sponsored medical plan only until age 65. These plans include:
- COBRA continuation of current coverage (up to 18 months or age 65 whichever comes first), or
- The PPO $900 Deductible plan until age 65.
Dental Plan: Employees and their family members covered under the IU Dental Plan may continue dental coverage through COBRA for 18 months. Dental coverage is not a Retiree benefit option after COBRA ends.
Join a spouse’s IU-Sponsored Plan: If the ERIP participant has a spouse that is employed with IU and is eligible for health plan coverage, s/he may enroll or join their spouse on IU-Sponsored health plans. (Please note: if the ERIP participant enrolls in a spouse's IU-sponsored health plan, they will no longer be eligible to receive future HRA contributions.) When the spouse’s eligibility ends, the following options will be available to them.
- One or both have IU Retiree Status: options listed above apply
- Both do not have IU Retiree Status: only COBRA is available
The Choice of Most Retirees
The choice of Medical plan coverage depends on age and life circumstances. Some employees may want to review plans outside IU, such as those offered by private insurance companies, sponsored by a group like AARP or RIPEA, or a Medicare Advantage plan for those age 65 or older. The information below assumes that the participant wishes to continue receiving coverage through IU.
ERIP participants and family members under age 65
Typically enrollment is in the plan that IU makes available to those under age 65—the PPO $900 Deductible. The plan is identical to the same plan offered to employees, except the enrollee pays the full premium.
COBRA is also an alternative for 18 months, or until reaching age 65, whichever comes first. Some reasons that a participant under age 65 might elect COBRA include:
- Keeping coverage as long as possible in an IU-sponsored medical plan other than the PPO $900 Deductible plan, i.e., the HDHP/HSA, Blue Access PPO, or IU Health Quality Partners.
- Adding a spouse to IU medical coverage during Open Enrollment.
When COBRA eligibility ends, the participant and covered family members can transition to an IU-sponsored medical plan depending on their age at that time.
ERIP Participants and family members age 65 or older
Medical coverage: Continuation of employee coverage through COBRA is available; however, most individuals find that enrolling in Medicare is more cost effective. Medicare has different options, but the options most often chosen are:
- Medicare Part A (inpatient hospital coverage), plus
- Medicare Part B (outpatient medical coverage), plus
- A Medicare supplement, such as the Blue Retiree plan sponsored by IU; plus
- A Medicare Part D prescription plan.
This combination of coverages leaves the participant with little or no out-of-pocket medical costs—Medicare deductible and copays are paid by the supplement. Prescription costs depend on which one of the many private Medicare prescription plans is chosen.
Medicare alternatives: In some geographic regions, Medicare allows private insurers to offer PPO or HMO plans as an alternative to original Medicare. These plans often combine medical and prescription coverage all in one plan. Details of options, including prescription plans, are available at Medicare.gov.
Dental Coverage: Regardless of the choice for medical coverage, dental coverage is most often elected for 18 months through COBRA. (The IU dental plan is not an option for Retirees so COBRA is the only way to continue dental coverage.)