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March 30, 2021 - The State Employee Retirements System (SERS) has released the following statement regarding the back pay issue that some retirees have been enduring for several years:

"The pandemic has had a significant impact on operations at SERS.  In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders and a strong commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our employees, for more than a year, SERS employees have been rotating between working from home and working at the office.  Throughout the pandemic, the building’s capacity has been limited to between 20% and 50%, depending primarily on the severity of the local infection rate.  Consequently, we have focused on processing and paying new benefit claims and ensuring those receiving benefits continue to receive the monthly benefit on time.

Prior to the pandemic, the SERS Board of Trustees provided resources to allow several SERS retirees to be brought back to work contractually to assist in the processing of back wage adjustments.  The goal at the time was to complete all adjustments by the end of 2020.  With the onset of the pandemic, these retirees, who were demographically vulnerable to the virus were sent home.  They have not yet been back to the office.  These retirees were unable to effectively work remotely, so the entire workload of processing adjustments fell back to the full-time employees, who have made some progress under very difficult circumstances.

We have completed the adjustments resulting from the Quinn Administration wage freeze.  We are optimistic the adjustments related to the Rauner Administration back wages will occur more quickly, as the detailed agency payroll data provided to SERS is much better than the data provided for the Quinn wage freeze.  We are hoping to complete all adjustment by the end of 2021, and we will start providing progress updates after the launch of our new website later this spring."

 

ROLLING  Medicare Advantage (TRAIL) Enrollment

Beginning January 1, 2021, retired State Employees who will be eligible to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, will NO LONGER have to wait until the Fall to enroll in the State of Illinois Medicare Advantage (TRAIL) program.

Retirees who will be turning 65 (and are eligible for TRAIL) can expect to receive a letter from CMS approximately 3 months prior to your 65 birthday. The letter will remind you to enroll in Medicare, and to provide the CMS Medicare COB Unit proof of your Medicare registration

Rolling MAPD Enrollment FACT Sheet
What IS Medicare?
What IS TRAIL?
Another Good Explanation of TRAIL
TRAIL Program Initial Enrollment Guide
 

2021 Open Enrollment 

The TRAIL Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) Open Enrollment Period for the 2021 plan year runs October 15 - November 16, 2020.  Informational seminars will be held virtually this year to give eligible retirees and survivors an opportunity to learn about the Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL) Program.  A link to a list of seminar dates and times is given below.  Topics included eligibility criteria and an explanation of the benefits provided through the Program.

TRAIL OPEN ENROLLMENT SEMINAR
2021 State TRAIL Program Decision Guide​
2021 State TRAIL FAQs
2021 State TRAIL Plan Administrators
2021 TRAIL Map
2021 Rates
 

It is More Important Than Ever to Get the Flu-Vaccine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting a flu-vaccine during 2020-2021 will be more important than ever. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu-viruses.

CMS sponsored Flu-shot clinics will be available at multiple locations around the state and continue to be free for State Employees and Retirees.  In addition, you and your dependents may also go to your doctors' offices, pharmacies, and county health departments. Universities are offering walk-in clinics on-campus daily while following CDC social-distancing guidelines.  

State Employees, Retirees, and your dependents have many options to obtain the flu vaccination at no cost to you.  Choose the option and location that is most convenient for you. Please remember, if you access care through your doctor or pharmacy, plan requirements and network utilization apply. 

Your insurance will be properly billed following the terms of the members' health plan. Be sure to bring your health insurance card and a State ID or another form of ID when accessing care.  

The following link is a complete listing of all public health departments and contact information throughout the state: http://www.idph.state.il.us/IDPHPrograms/v_LHDDirectory/Show-V-LHDDirectory-Public.aspx

To Receive the Seasonal Flu Vaccination at No Charge

  • Each employee must present his/her state health insurance card and his/her State ID card.
  • Each retiree must present his/her state health insurance card and another form of ID.
  • Unless receiving the vaccine at a CMS-sponsored flu shot clinic, these services are free only when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan's network.
 

Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL) Program

The TRAIL Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) Open Enrollment Period for the 2021 plan year runs October 15 - November 16, 2020. Informational seminars are held to give eligible-retirees and survivors an opportunity to learn about the Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL) Program. This year, the seminars will be online. Check back here to view your TRAIL Open Enrollment seminar on the following dates and times (registration to the event is not necessary). If you miss the live webinars, a recording will be provided here:

Week 1:

  • Oct 15, Thursday, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Oct 16, Friday, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Week 2:

  • Oct 20, Tuesday, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Oct 22, Thursday, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Week 3:

  • Oct 26, Monday, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • Oct 28, Wednesday, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Oct 30, Friday 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Topics include eligibility criteria and an explanation of the benefits provided through the Program.

 

Retirees and survivors who became eligible for the TRAIL MAPD Program over the past year will receive a Decision Guide in the mail in mid-October, notifying them of their eligibility and the requirement to enroll, or opt-out of coverage, during the TRAIL MAPD Open Enrollment Period. All currently-enrolled members will also receive a Decision Guide notifying you of any plan changes for the upcoming plan year.

Note: If you are currently-enrolled in TRAIL MAPD, and wish to keep your coverage as is, you need not do anything. However, if you want to make any changes to your current TRAIL MAPD coverage for the 2021 plan year, you will be allowed to complete your changes online at MyBenefits.illinois.gov or contact MyBenefits (toll-free) 844-251-1777 between October 15-November 16, 2020.
 
 

No elections are allowed to be made prior to the October 15, or after the November 16, 2020 Enrollment Period.

 
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