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2019-2020 Important Healthcare Notices

MEDICARE NOTICE OF CREDITABLE COVERAGE 

If you or your eligible dependents are currently Medicare eligible, or will become Medicare eligible during the next 12 months, you need to be sure that you understand whether the prescription drug coverage that you elect under the Medical Plan options available to you are or are not creditable with (as valuable as) Medicare’s prescription drug coverage.

To find out whether the prescription drug coverage under the medical plan options offered by ACERA are or are not creditable, you should review the ACERA’s Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice.

Statement of Belief – Grandfather Status

ACERA believes the Kaiser Permanente HMO California plan is a “grandfathered health plan” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Affordable Care Act). As permitted by the Affordable Care Act, a grandfathered health plan can preserve certain basic health coverage that was already in effect when that law was enacted. Being a grandfathered health plan means that your plan may not include certain consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act that apply to other plans, for example, the requirement for the provision of preventive health services without any cost sharing. However, grandfathered health plans must comply with certain other consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act, for example, the elimination of lifetime limits on benefits.

Questions regarding which protections apply and which protections do not apply to a grandfathered health plan and what might cause a plan to change from grandfathered health plan status can be directed to ACERA.

Newborns and Mothers Health Protection Act (NMHPA)

A health plan which provides benefits for pregnancy delivery generally may not restrict benefits for a covered pregnancy Hospital stay (for delivery) for a mother and her newborn to less than 48 hours following a vaginal delivery or 96 hours following a Cesarean section. Also, any utilization review requirements for Inpatient Hospital admissions will not apply for this minimum length of stay and early discharge is only permitted if the attending health care provider, in consultation with the mother, decides an earlier discharge is appropriate.

Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA)

You or your dependents may be entitled to certain benefits under the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA).  For individuals receiving mastectomy-related benefits, coverage will be provided in a manner determined in consultation with the attending physician and the patient for:

  • All stages of reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy was performed;
  • Surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance;
  • Prostheses; and
  • Treatment of physical complications of the mastectomy, including lymphedema.

These benefits will be provided subject to the same deductibles, copayment and coinsurance applicable to other medical and surgical benefits provided under the various medical plans offered by ACERA. Contact ACERA for more information.

Important Reminder to Provide the Plan with the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) of Each Enrollee in an ACERA Health Plan

Employers are required by law to collect the taxpayer identification number (TIN) or social security number (SSN) of each medical plan participant and provide that number on reports that will be provided to the IRS each year.  Employers are required to make at least two consecutive attempts to gather missing TINs/SSNs.

If a dependent does not yet have a social security number, you can go to this website to complete a form to request a SSN. Applying for a social security number is FREE.

The SSN will also be used to help fulfill mandatory reporting requirements to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) for the purposes of permitting Medicare to coordinate benefits for individuals enrolled in both an employer-sponsored medical plan and Medicare.

If you have not yet provided the social security number (or other TIN) for each of your dependents that you have enrolled in the health plan, please contact ACERA.

COBRA Continuation Coverage

In compliance with a federal law referred to as COBRA Continuation Coverage, this plan offers qualified beneficiaries the opportunity to elect temporary continuation of their group health coverage when that coverage would otherwise end because of certain events (called qualifying events).

Qualified beneficiaries are entitled to elect COBRA when qualifying events occur, and, as a result of the qualifying event, coverage of that qualified beneficiary ends. Qualified beneficiaries who elect COBRA Continuation Coverage must pay for it at their own expense.

Qualifying events for dependents enrolled in Retiree coverage typically include death of the retiree, divorce/legal separation from the retiree, or a child ceasing to be an eligible dependent child.

In addition to considering COBRA as a way to continue coverage, there may be other coverage options for you and your family. You may want to look for coverage through the Health Care Marketplace. See https://www.healthcare.gov/. In the Marketplace, you could be eligible for a tax credit that lowers your monthly premiums for Marketplace coverage, and you can see what your premium, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs will be before you make a decision to enroll. Being eligible for COBRA does not limit your eligibility for coverage for a tax credit through the Marketplace. Additionally, you may qualify for a special enrollment opportunity for another group health plan for which you are eligible (such as a spouse’s plan) if you request enrollment within 30 days, even if the plan generally does not accept late enrollees.

The maximum period of COBRA coverage is generally 36 months, depending on which qualifying event occurred.

In order to have the chance to elect COBRA coverage after a divorce/legal separation or a child ceasing to be a dependent child under the plan, you must inform the plan in writing of that event no later than 60 days after that event occurs. That notice should be sent to ACERA via first class mail and is to include the retiree’s name, the qualifying event, the date of the event, and the appropriate documentation in support of the qualifying event (such as divorce documents or death certificate). If you have questions about COBRA, contact ACERA.

Special Enrollment Rights Notice

CHANGES TO YOUR HEALTH PLAN ELECTIONS

Once you make your benefits elections, they cannot be changed until the next Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment is held once a year.

If you are declining enrollment for yourself or your Dependents (including your spouse) because of other health insurance or group health plan coverage, you may be able to enroll yourself and your Dependents in this plan if there is a loss of other coverage. However, you must request enrollment no later than 30 days after that other coverage ends.

If you declined coverage while Medicaid or CHIP is in effect, you may be able to enroll yourself and / or your Dependents in this plan if you or your Dependents lose eligibility for that other coverage. However, you must request enrollment no later than 60 days after Medicaid or CHIP coverage ends.

If you or your Dependents become eligible for Medicaid or CHIP premium assistance, you may be able to enroll yourself and / or your Dependents into this plan. However, you must request enrollment no later than 60 days after the determination for eligibility for such assistance.

If you have a change in family status such as addition of a new Dependent resulting from marriage, birth, adoption, placement for adoption, or Qualified Medical Child Support Order, or loss of Dependent due to divorce (including legal separation and annulment) or death, you may be able to enroll yourself and / or your Dependents. However, you must request enrollment no later than 30 days after the change in family status event (including legal separation and annulment).

Medicare Part D – Important Notice About Your Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare

Please read ACERA’s Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice.

Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage

GENERAL INFORMATION

Your employer should distribute a notice to new employees when they are first hired that provides you with information in the event you wish to apply for coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace. This notice is at least two pages long.

If you wish to have someone assist you in the application process or have questions about subsidies that you may be eligible to receive, you can contact the Health Insurance Marketplace directly at www.HealthCare.gov.

WHAT IS THE HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE?

The Marketplace is designed to help you find health insurance that meets your needs and fits your budget. The Marketplace offers “one-stop shopping” to find and compare private health insurance options. You may also be eligible for a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premium right away. Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins in October 2019 for coverage starting as early as January 1, 2020.

CAN I SAVE MONEY ON MY HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS IN THE MARKETPLACE?

You may qualify to save money and lower your monthly premium, but only if your employer does not offer you coverage, or offers medical coverage that is not “Affordable” or does not provide “Minimum Value.” If the lowest cost plan from your employer that would cover you (and not any other members of your family) is more than 9.5% of your household income for the year, then that coverage is not Affordable. Moreover, if the plan’s share of the total allowed benefit costs covered by the plan is less than 60% of such costs, then the plan does not provide Minimum Value.

DOES EMPLOYER HEALTH COVERAGE AFFECT ELIGIBILITY FOR PREMIUM SAVINGS THROUGH THE MARKETPLACE?

Yes. If you have an offer of medical coverage from your employer that is both Affordable and provides Minimum Value, you will not be eligible for a tax credit through the Marketplace and may wish to enroll in your employer’s medical plan.

Note: If you purchase a health plan through the Marketplace instead of accepting health coverage offered by your employer, then you may lose the employer contribution (if any) to the employer-offered medical coverage. Also, this employer contribution, as well as your employee contribution to employer-offered coverage, is often excluded from income for Federal and State income tax purposes. Your payments for coverage through the Marketplace are made on an after-tax basis.

Availability Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Notice of Privacy Practices

ACERA maintains a Notice of Privacy Practices that provides information to individuals whose protected health information (PHI) will be used or maintained by the Plan. If you would like a copy of the Plan’s Notice of Privacy Practices, please contact ACERA.

Premium Assistance under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

If you or your children are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP and you’re eligible for health coverage from your employer, your state may have a premium assistance program that can help pay for coverage, using funds from their Medicaid or CHIP programs. If you or your children aren’t eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, you won’t be eligible for these premium assistance programs but you may be able to buy individual insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. For more information, visit www.healthcare.gov.

If you or your dependents are already enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP and you live in a State listed below, contact your State Medicaid or CHIP office to find out if premium assistance is available.

If you or your dependents are NOT currently enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, and you think you or any of your dependents might be eligible for either of these programs, contact your State Medicaid or CHIP office or dial 877.KIDS.NOW or www.insurekidsnow.gov to find out how to apply. If you qualify, ask your state if it has a program that might help you pay the premiums for an employer-sponsored plan.

If you or your dependents are eligible for premium assistance under Medicaid or CHIP, as well as eligible under your employer plan, your employer must allow you to enroll in your employer plan if you aren’t already enrolled. This is called a “special enrollment” opportunity, and you must request coverage within 60 days of being determined eligible for premium assistance. If you have questions about enrolling in your employer plan, contact the Department of Labor at www.askebsa.dol.gov or call 866.444.EBSA (3272).

If you live in one of the following states, you may be eligible for assistance paying your employer health plan premiums. The following list of states is current as of July 31, 2019. Contact your State for more information on eligibility.

 

ALABAMA – Medicaid

FLORIDA – Medicaid

Website: http://myalhipp.com/

Phone: 1-855-692-5447

Website: http://flmedicaidtplrecovery.com/hipp/

Phone: 1-877-357-3268

ALASKA – Medicaid

GEORGIA – Medicaid

The AK Health Insurance Premium Payment Program

Website: http://myakhipp.com/

Phone: 1-866-251-4861

Email: CustomerService@MyAKHIPP.com

Medicaid Eligibility: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dpa/Pages/medicaid/default.aspx

Website: https://medicaid.georgia.gov/health-insurance-premium-payment-program-hipp

Phone: 678-564-1162 ext 2131

ARKANSAS – Medicaid

INDIANA – Medicaid

Website: http://myarhipp.com/

Phone: 1-855-MyARHIPP (855-692-7447)

Healthy Indiana Plan for low-income adults 19-64

Website: http://www.in.gov/fssa/hip/

Phone: 1-877-438-4479

All other Medicaid

Website: http://www.indianamedicaid.com

Phone 1-800-403-0864

COLORADO – Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) & Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)

IOWA – Medicaid

Health First Colorado Website: https://www.healthfirstcolorado.com/

Health First Colorado Member Contact Center:

1-800-221-3943/ State Relay 711

CHP+: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/child-health-plan-plus

CHP+ Customer Service: 1-800-359-1991/ State Relay 711

Website:

http://dhs.iowa.gov/Hawki

Phone: 1-800-257-8563

KANSAS – Medicaid

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Medicaid

Website: http://www.kdheks.gov/hcf/

Phone: 1-785-296-3512

Website: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oii/hipp.htm

Phone: 603-271-5218

Toll free number for the HIPP program: 1-800-852-3345, ext 5218

KENTUCKY – Medicaid

NEW JERSEY – Medicaid and CHIP

Website: https://chfs.ky.gov

Phone: 1-800-635-2570

Medicaid Website:

http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/

dmahs/clients/medicaid/

Medicaid Phone: 609-631-2392

CHIP Website: http://www.njfamilycare.org/index.html

CHIP Phone: 1-800-701-0710

 

LOUISIANA – Medicaid

NEW YORK – Medicaid

Website: http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/subhome/1/n/331

Phone: 1-888-695-2447

Website: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/

Phone: 1-800-541-2831

MAINE – Medicaid

NORTH CAROLINA – Medicaid

Website: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ofi/public-assistance/index.html

Phone: 1-800-442-6003

TTY: Maine relay 711

Website: https://medicaid.ncdhhs.gov/

Phone: 919-855-4100

MASSACHUSETTS – Medicaid and CHIP

NORTH DAKOTA – Medicaid

Website: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/masshealth/

Phone: 1-800-862-4840

Website: http://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/medicalserv/medicaid/

Phone: 1-844-854-4825

MINNESOTA – Medicaid

OKLAHOMA – Medicaid and CHIP

Website: http://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/seniors/health-care/health-care-programs/programs-and-services/medical-assistance.jsp

https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/seniors/health-care/health-care-programs/programs-and-services/other-insurance.jsp

Phone: 1-800-657-3739

Website: http://www.insureoklahoma.org

Phone: 1-888-365-3742

MISSOURI – Medicaid

OREGON – Medicaid

Website: http://www.dss.mo.gov/mhd/participants/pages/hipp.htm

Phone: 573-751-2005

Website: http://healthcare.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx

http://www.oregonhealthcare.gov/index-es.html

Phone: 1-800-699-9075

MONTANA – Medicaid

PENNSYLVANIA – Medicaid

Website: http://dphhs.mt.gov/MontanaHealthcarePrograms/HIPP

Phone: 1-800-694-3084

Website

Phone: 1-800-692-7462

NEBRASKA – Medicaid

RHODE ISLAND – Medicaid and CHIP

Website: http://www.ACCESSNebraska.ne.gov

Phone: (855) 632-7633

Lincoln: (402) 473-7000

Omaha: (402) 595-1178

Website: http://www.eohhs.ri.gov/

Phone: 855-697-4347, or 401-462-0311 (Direct RIte Share Line)

 

NEVADA – Medicaid

SOUTH CAROLINA – Medicaid

Medicaid Website: https://dhcfp.nv.gov

Medicaid Phone: 1-800-992-0900

Website: https://www.scdhhs.gov

Phone: 1-888-549-0820

SOUTH DAKOTA – Medicaid

WASHINGTON – Medicaid

Website: http://dss.sd.gov

Phone: 1-888-828-0059

Website: https://www.hca.wa.gov/

Phone: 1-800-562-3022 ext. 15473

TEXAS – Medicaid

WEST VIRGINIA – Medicaid

Website: http://gethipptexas.com/

Phone: 1-800-440-0493

Website: http://mywvhipp.com/

Toll-free phone: 1-855-MyWVHIPP (1-855-699-8447)

UTAH – Medicaid and CHIP

WISCONSIN – Medicaid and CHIP

Medicaid Website: https://medicaid.utah.gov/

CHIP Website: http://health.utah.gov/chip

Phone: 1-877-543-7669

Website:

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p1/p10095.pdf

Phone: 1-800-362-3002

VERMONT– Medicaid

WYOMING – Medicaid

Website: http://www.greenmountaincare.org/

Phone: 1-800-250-8427

Website: https://wyequalitycare.acs-inc.com/

Phone: 307-777-7531

VIRGINIA – Medicaid and CHIP

 

Medicaid Website: http://www.coverva.org/programs_premium_assistance.cfm

Medicaid Phone: 1-800-432-5924

CHIP Website: http://www.coverva.org/programs_premium_assistance.cfm

CHIP Phone: 1-855-242-8282

 

 

To see if any other states have added a premium assistance program since August 10, 2017, or for more information on special enrollment rights, contact either:

U.S. Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa
866.444.EBSA (3272)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
www.cms.hhs.gov
877.267.2323, Menu Option 4, Ext. 61565

Discrimination Is Against the Law

ACERA complies with the applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ACERA does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ACERA:

a)   Provides free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, such as:

  • Qualified sign language interpreters
  • Written information in other formats (large print, audio, accessible electronic formats, other formats)

b)   Provides free language services to people whose primary language is not English, such as:

  • Qualified interpreters
  • Information written in other languages

If you need these services contact ACERA.

If you believe that ACERA has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, you can file a grievance with ACERA . You can file a grievance in person, or by mail, fax, or email. If you need help filing a grievance, [insert name and title of Civil Rights Coordinator] is available to help you.

You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/cp/complaint_frontpage.jsf, or by mail or phone at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 509F, HHS Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
800.368.1019, 800.537.7697 (TDD)

 

Complaint forms are available at:

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/civil-rights-complaint-form-0945-0002-exp-04302019.pdf

Patient Protections

The UnitedHealthcare medical plans generally require the designation of a primary care provider. You have the right to designate any primary care provider who participates in our network and who is available to accept you or your family members. Until you make this designation, UnitedHealthcare will designate one for you. For children, you may designate a pediatrician as the primary care provider. For information on how to select a primary care provider, and for a list of the participating primary care providers, contact UnitedHealthcare.

You do not need prior authorization (pre-approval) from the plan or from any other person (including a primary care provider) in order to obtain access to obstetrical or gynecological (OB/GYN) care from an in-network health care professional who specializes in obstetrics or gynecology. The health care professional, however, may be required to comply with certain procedures, including obtaining prior authorization for certain services, following a pre-approved treatment plan, or procedures for making referrals. For a list of participating health care professionals who specialize in obstetrics or gynecology, contact UnitedHealthcare.

Networks/Claims/Appeals

The major medical plans described in our Enrollment Guide have provider networks. The listing of provider networks will be available to you automatically and free of charge by contacting your medical plan. A list of network providers can be accessed immediately by using the Internet address found in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage that relates to the Plan. You have a right to appeal denials of claims, and a right to a response within a reasonable amount of time. Claims that are not submitted within a reasonable time may be denied. Please review your Plan Document or contact ACERA for more details.

Notice Regarding the Wellness Program

The ACERA Annual Retiree Health and Wellness Fair Wellness Program is a voluntary wellness program available to all Retirees and is designed to promote health or prevent disease. The program is administered according to federal rules permitting employer-sponsored wellness programs that seek to improve employee health or prevent disease, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as applicable, among others.

If you choose to participate in the Wellness Program you may be asked to complete a voluntary health risk assessment or “HRA” that asks a series of questions about your health-related activities and behaviors and whether you have or had certain medical conditions (e.g., cancer, diabetes, or heart disease). You may also be asked to complete a biometric screening, which will include a blood pressure test. You are not required to complete the HRA questionnaire, participate in the biometric screening or other medical examinations.

However, retirees who choose to participate in the Wellness Program will receive an incentive of additional information regarding their health status. Although you are not required to complete the HRA or participate in the biometric screening or work with a health coach, only employees who do so will receive this additional information.

If you are unable to participate in any of the health-related activities or achieve any of the health outcomes required to earn an incentive, you may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation or an alternative standard. You may request a reasonable accommodation or an alternative standard by contacting your medical plan.

The information from your HRA questionnaire and the results from your biometric screening will be used to provide you with information to help you understand your current health and potential risks, and may also be used to offer you services through the Wellness Program. You also are encouraged to share your results or concerns with your own doctor.

Protections from Disclosure of Medical Information

Our group health plan is required by law to maintain the privacy and security of your personally identifiable health information.

Information collected from Wellness Program participants will only be received by your employer in aggregate form. Although the Wellness Program and ACERA may use aggregate information it collects to design a program based on identified health risks in the workplace, our group health plan will never disclose any of your personal information either publicly or to the employer, except as necessary to respond to a request from you for a reasonable accommodation needed to participate in the Wellness Program, or as expressly permitted by law. Medical information that personally identifies you that is provided in connection with the Wellness Program will not be provided to your supervisors or managers and may never be used to make decisions regarding your employment.

Your health information will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or otherwise disclosed except to the extent permitted by law to carry out specific activities related to the Wellness Program, and you will not be asked or required to waive the confidentiality of your health information as a condition of participating in the Wellness Program or receiving an incentive. Anyone who receives your information for purposes of providing you services as part of the Wellness Program will abide by the same confidentiality requirements. The only individual(s) who will receive your personally identifiable health information is (are) a health provider or a health coach in order to provide you with services under the Wellness Program.

In addition, all medical information obtained through the Wellness Program will be maintained separate from your personnel records, information stored electronically will be encrypted, and no information you provide as part of the Wellness Program will be used in making any employment decision. Appropriate precautions will be taken by the group health plan to avoid any data breach, and in the event a HIPAA data breach occurs involving information you provide in connection with the Wellness Program, we will notify you immediately.

You may not be discriminated against in employment because of the medical information you provide as part of participating in the Wellness Program, nor may you be subjected to retaliation if you choose not to participate. If you have questions or concerns regarding this notice, or about protections against discrimination and retaliation, please contact ACERA.

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