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To: Retired Faculty, Staff and Other Academic Appointees on the UChicago Retiree Medical Plan
From: Daniel Diermeier, Provost, and Ivan Samstein, Vice President and CFO
Subject: Changes to Retiree Medical Plan
Date: October 3, 2019
 
We write to share with you upcoming changes for the University of Chicago Retiree Medical Plan that will take effect on January 1, 2020. Retirees covered by the plan will be able to enroll November 1- 30, 2019. These changes respond to input from the retiree community and a review of the current plan and alternatives.
 
In January 2019, the University of Chicago Retiree Medical Plan moved to Anthem’s Medicare Preferred PPO plan. In addition to changing insurance carriers, we switched from a Medicare Supplement plan that augments traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, with the goals of offering a strong plan while controlling growth in premium costs.
 
Over the course of the year, feedback from the retiree community made clear that, for some retirees, the Anthem plan resulted in a lower quality experience than we had wanted and expected. Based on that feedback, we formed a retiree-led Working Group in July 2019 that was charged with looking at options for medical plan coverage and providing input to Human Resources and the Office of the Provost. They worked diligently over the summer to ensure the University could have options in place for retirees for the upcoming calendar year in the event that a change was recommended. The timeline has been short and demanding; we extend deep appreciation to the Working Group members and others who participated in their deliberations.
 
The Working Group’s recommendations were considered together with the parallel analyses of our administrative groups and outside consultants. We have secured a new retiree medical plan carrier and retirees will have the options of a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement Plan. The new network of providers is extensive and much closer to that of our previous plan, promoting ease of accessing care and, for the Medicare Advantage option, premium costs are controlled and wellness benefits are retained. Detailed information will be sent to retirees in the coming weeks in advance of the November enrollment period and will be available to the full UChicago community on the Human Resources website. Human Resources staff will be available to assist with the transition.
 
To learn more about the Working Group’s deliberations, please see the information here. As always, Xaviera Espinoza (1-773-702-4026 or xaviera@uchicago.edu) is available to provide support on retiree medical benefits and you are welcome to reach out to leaders in our offices, Casey Cook in Human Resources (cbcook@uchicago.edu) or Melina Hale in the Office of the Provost (mhale@uchicago.edu).