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Important information is constantly coming in and this page will be your single “Look Here First” location for the latest updates.  Click “Read More” to see these individual articles and updates.  Currently you will find information regarding a NJEA Dues Refund, as well as information regarding Retiree Health Benefit updates.

NJEA Dues Refund Information   March 8, 2021

Due to a calculation error, the dues amount charged for NJEA active membership this year was higher than it should have been. Based on each person’s membership category, the overcharged amount ranged from $0.60 to $12 per member. NJEA will be sending refund checks to all members in the coming week, with an explanatory letter.

Also in the next few days, members will receive an email from NJEA alerting them to this issue and asking them to update their membership profile to ensure that their check is sent to the correct address.

The request will look like this:

Please take a few moments right now to confirm your mailing address and other contact information in your NJEA Membership Profile. You will need to log into the NJEA website using your PIN or email and password. Your PIN is printed on the front of your NJEA membership card. Your password, unless you have previously changed it, is the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Please feel free to alert your members that this email is coming from NJEA and that it is legitimate, and please let them know the same if they reach out to you upon receiving it.

Sincerely,

Damien McKeever
NJEA Manager of Membership

 

 

Important update on retiree health benefits.

February 5, 2021

Insurance Cards–All insurance cards for the new NJSHB Plan have been mailed.  You can print out a card at NJEA website if needed.

Overcharge for non-Medicare retirees–The issue regarding this overcharge in January paychecks has been resolved by the state.  You will receive your refund check by February 10, 2021.

Optum RX letters error regarding covered prescriptions–This error has been rectified.  Those impacted by the change were eligible for a 30 day supply as the letters were sent out late in January with formulary coverage.  Formulary changes occur every year.  This is done by Medicare–not the state or Optum Rx.  You can first appeal any prescription changes through Optum Rx.

January 7, 2021   

Please see the below message from Judy Perkins regarding the Medicare reimbursement per Kevin Kelleher, NJEA Assistant Executive Director.  

I received an update from Kevin Kelleher, who was in touch with the Division of Pension about our continued struggle to get our members reimbursed for any amount they paid over the standard Medicare premium (Remember that the standard amount is already reimbursed in our pension checks).  The state has sent out about 70% of the overage payments.  They plan to have the final 30% completed by mid-February.  While the percentage completed continues to go up, the date to finalize all reimbursements continues to be pushed back.  Certainly not what we wanted to hear, but we have been reassured that all members entitled to a overage reimbursement will receive one.  

Judy 

Update on retiree health benefits View in browser  

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In the past few days, we became aware of three issues affecting a large number of retired NJEA members. The State of NJ Division of Pensions has acknowledged all three issues and is working to resolve them as quickly as possible. NJEA has been working over the last week to gather the information and ensure that our members’ rights are honored.

The following issues may affect members/spouse/dependents not enrolled in Medicare:

  • Insurance Cards:  While you may not have received your cards yet, the state has confirmed that all coverages for non-Medicare retirees enrolled in the New Jersey Educators’ Health Plan (NJEHP) will be in place by Dec. 31, 2020, with no gaps in coverage.  To learn more, please click here to learn how you can continue either to use your current insurance card or go online and download/print your new ID cards until they are mailed.
     
  • Deductions from January 2021 pensions:  We learned over the weekend that retirees who had qualified for free medical benefits in retirement are seeing a medical deduction effective Jan. 2021.  The state confirmed that there was a programming error that caused the erroneous deductions. That error has since been corrected.  They have also assured NJEA/NJREA that those members that have qualified for free retirement healthcare will continue to do so.  The Division of Pensions has posted on their website that “Checks will be mailed to retirees who are due refunds with delivery expected on or before Feb. 18, 2021.”  Any future updates will be posted on their website.  

The following issue may affect members/spouse/dependents enrolled in Medicare:

  • OptumRx sent a mailing to some Medicare retirees stating that their medications would not be covered in 2021.  Approximately two thirds of those letters were sent in error.  All retirees should disregard the letter they received. A new letter will be sent confirming if the drugs identified on the first letter will continue to be covered in the new year.If the drug the retiree has been taking is no longer on the Medicare Drug List, or has been restricted in some way, OptumRx will cover a temporary supply of the drug during the first 90 days of the calendar year. This temporary supply will be for up to a 30-day supply (less if the prescription is written for fewer days). The prescription must be filled at a network pharmacy.

We know that errors like these are frustrating. We have expressed that frustration to representatives from the Division of Pensions and have insisted that these problems be resolved quickly and with no harm to our members. You worked hard during your career to earn your post-retirement health benefits and you deserve to have them provided as promised. We will continue to monitor all of these issues to ensure they are resolved and will reach out again if we discover any additional issues.

In the meantime, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2021.

In solidarity,

Marie Blistan, President
New Jersey Education Association

Judy Perkins,  President
New Jersey Retirees’ Education Association