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Understanding The At&T Retiree Exchange

AT&T offered to provide Medicare-eligible retirees access to health care via a Medicare Exchange model. The model was introduced to grant the retirees the medical cover. This way, they can enjoy the full medical services offered by a recognized organization. The AT&T retiree exchange is linked to the Aon Retiree Health Exchange. The Aon Exchange favors all the AT&T retirees and dependents of the retirees that are 65 years and over.


So what is a medical exchange?

The AT&T retiree exchange is a private exchange that works just like the state-based exchanges governed by the Affordable Care Act. With this exchange, the vendor contracts with the insurance carriers to provide the Medicare supplemental Advantage plans. This is different with the Affordable Care Act that requires the federal or state government to contact the insurance carriers. The enrollees here can choose the plans available from the menu.


How does it affect the retirees?

The retirees eligible for the AT&T Medicare exchange will benefit from two sources. The first one is the traditional Medicare, which is the primary source. The traditional Medicare pays first before other coverages. The other option is that AT&T sponsors a specific group insurance plan. The group insurance plan picks up special costs, which are not covered by the traditional Medicare. With the implementation of the new policy, the retirees eligible for the AT&T Medicare will continue enjoying the traditional Medicare coverage. Nonetheless, the secondary coverage will be offered individually through a private Medicare supplemental insurance exchange.


What are the Medicare Supplemental Plans and Medicare Advantage Plan?

Also called the Medigap policies, the Medicare Supplemental Plans cover the medical expenses that are not covered by the traditional Medicare. The common medical expenses covered include the coinsurance, deductibles, and copayments. It is required that the Medicare part D or the Prescription drug coverage be bought separately. The Medicare Advantage plans are the same with the HMOs, but they have benefits that are completely integrated with the Part D and traditional Medicare.


The Contributions of Employers to the Exchange Coverage

Employers are allowed to set up HRA, Health Reimbursement Accounts, for every retiree. This is in connection with the AT&T retiree exchange. The employers can also make contributions to the retirees accordingly. Some employer companies will allocate the complete amount of the negotiated company contribution cap to the HRA of every retiree.

Generally, the HRA terms depend on the employer, under specific guidelines that are controlled by the IRS. Also, the Health Reimbursement Accounts can be designed to repay for medical premiums and other unpaid medical costs. This also includes the vision and dental expenses.

Some employers will cut down the premium reimbursements to selected plans, especially those that are under the private exchange. Other employer companies allow the retirees to utilize the HRA to repay premiums for any plan that is eligible.


Requirements for receiving the HRA

For anyone to benefit from the HRA, they must meet specific conditions. Some of the requirements include the following;

  • The applicant must be a retiree or a retiree dependent that has enrolled in the Medicare Part A and B. The Medicare must be primary, and the applicant must be eligible to the AT&T subsidy.
  • The applicant must enroll in a prescription or medical drug coverage via the Aon Retiree Health Exchange.

In case you already pay 100% of the AT&T retiree health coverage contribution cost, you do not qualify for the HRA.

The amount of HRA for your household should be communicated in the course of the Education Appointments. It is discussed with the relevant Benefits Advisors. This depends on the applicant and the eligible dependents that have enrolled in a prescription or medical drug coverage via the Aon Retiree Health Exchange.


Conclusion

To fully enjoy the AT&T retiree exchange benefits, you should consult an experienced advisor to help you through it. This way, you will know what exactly is covered by the plan. AT&T offers its retiree benefits to every eligible applicant. Retirees should be 65 years and above. Even though the company determines what it should offer to the retirees, it must follow the guidelines of the IRS. It is advised to understand what is offered in the Medicare Exchange. The company is in partnership with Aon, and it offers a lot of benefits to the retirees. Even the dependents of the retirees should follow the specific requirements to enjoy the full benefits.

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