Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Home Opinions Aramco Retirees…Know Your Medicare Options!

Aramco Retirees…Know Your Medicare Options!

Hi Toni:

My husband is an Aramco retiree and two weeks ago we received a letter stating that Aramco is terminating all Aramco Medicare Eligible retirees Aetna and Express Scripts group benefits with a termination date of June 30, 2018. We will have reimbursement from a HRA account, which I do not know anything about.

Aramco has chosen Mercer Marketplace 365 to help us choose the right Medicare and Part D options and assist with administering the HRA account that pays our insurance premiums.  My husband and I will want an appointment with your office to sort out what is the right option regarding the Mercer Marketplace.

We do not want a major catastrophe by making the wrong decision for our future Medicare needs. Thanks, Becky from Richmond, TX

Becky:

I have good news for you because I personally attended an Aramco Retiree Educational Seminar at the Omni Houston Hotel Westside location and it was very professionally presented.  Mercer was making sure that all of the Aramco Retiree’s questions are answered.

The Mercer rep advised all that attended to discuss with their doctors, hospitals and pharmacies which Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part D plans, they accept. She discussed how to prepare for the phone consultation and that the Aramco retiree and spouse will be assigned a specific benefits counselor who will be their counselor, not a random customer service rep that moves on to the next phone call.  

From the meeting, I learned that for the remainder of 2018, the retiree and spouse who are on the Aramco Retiree plan will have a total $878 each to help pay for which Medicare and Prescription drug plans chosen for the remainder of 2018.  Starting 2019, the yearly amount is $1756 for the Aramco retiree and covered spouse. 

A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is an account that has been established for the employee (you) and funded by a company such as Aramco.  You can use the funds in your HRA to receive reimbursements for eligible health care expenses up to the allocated amount.

The HRA is tax-free if the retiree and/or spouse meets certain requirements to qualify for the HRA funding.

Once you have enrolled in a Medicare plan through Aramco or other companies which provide HRAs, you will then have access to the HRA and use the HRA to reimburse your costs for items listed below:

• All or a portion of the monthly premiums for individual Medicare Supplemental insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D Prescription drug plan.

• Medicare Part B or D premiums (if any)

• Eligible medical out of pocket such as coinsurance, co-payments and deductibles

• Dental and/or vision premiums enrolled thru Mercer Marketplace 365.

• Your HRA can be used to pay for all IRS Code Section 213 (d) expenses.

The Mercer speaker discuss “what is a guarantee issue” time for the retiree with health issues which prevents one from qualifying for a Medicare Supplement medically.

With guaranteed issue rights, an insurance company must:

• Sell you a Medigap/Medicare Supplement policy. “You have the right to buy any Medigap/Medicare Supplement Plan A, B, C, F, K or L that’s sold in your state by any insurance company.   

• Cover all your pre-existing health conditions.

• Cannot charge you more for a Medigap/Medicare Supplement policy, regardless of past or present health problems.

For those in good health, then you may want to apply with complete underwriting for a Medicare Supplement Plan G with an individual Medicare Part D plan.

Have questions regarding Aramco Retiree changes email the Toni Says® team at info@tonisays.com.

Toni King, author of the 2018 Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced edition which is available for sale at the www.tonisays.com.  The wait is over… ABBS (American Baby Boomer Society) is now available at www.abbs4u.com.

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