OPERS COVID-19 Response Plan

Last updated May 20, 5:30 p.m.

To help control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect our members and employees, we will be transitioning to a full work-from-home environment and closing the OPERS office effective Monday, March 23, 2020. We will continue to have essential personnel in the office.

We did not come to this decision lightly and we remain committed to paying benefits as scheduled and providing essential services to our members.

Please know that benefit payments will be released on the first of the month as scheduled. As this situation continues to develop, we will keep you informed if any delays in processing arise.

Visitors to the OPERS Office

We are not accepting visitors to our office at this time.

Online Account Access

If you have locked yourself out of your online account please send us an email to benefitquestions@opers.org with your first and last name. Please do not send personal information through email, if we need additional information we will reach out to you. Once we receive the email we will do our best to reset the account.

Contact with Member Services
(Appointments or Calls to 800-222-7377)

We are at times working with a reduced staff and testing out new technology to answer calls. If you call we may be answering calls as normal using our Virtual Hold system for callbacks if call volumes are higher. Depending on staff and call volume you may be prompted to leave us a voice mail. If you leave a voice mail your return call will come from 800-222-7377. For your protection please remember that our staff would never ask you for any form of payment and will only be calling you if you left us a message or have a scheduled phone appointment with us.

Appointments - If you have a scheduled phone interview we will call you at your scheduled date and time. If you had an in-person interview we are attempting to reach out to schedule an alternate type of appointment. We will be prioritizing those who will be filing for retirement in the next few months and ask for your patience.

You can also reach us:

  • Through your online account.You can send a secure message through your online account which will be answered by one of our member services representative. You can also run benefit estimates through your online account.
  • Daily General Question webinars. You can register for the 8:30am webinar which will take place every morning during our shutdown. During this webinar we will review the OPERS response plan, show you where you can register for other OPERS pension and health care related webinars and recorded presentations, as well as respond to general questions. If you have specific personal account questions, we will show you how to submit these securely through your online account. OPERS representatives will respond to your questions as soon as possible.
    Click here to register.
  • Our website. You can visit opers.org to access resources such as leaflets, recorded presentations, videos and more.

Webinars Replace In-Person Education

For the safety of our membership and associates, we have decided to postpone all in-person education sessions through June 30. We will reassess the virus situation at that time and determine if future postponements are necessary. This includes education fairs, in-person seminars and employer site visits. We have however, increased the number of live webinars we offer. These webinars provide the same information as our in-person seminars and you can even ask questions and get answers from our educators.

To register, visit the OPERS Member Education Center.

You can also view any of our online recorded presentations. These online presentations cover topics ranging from Medicare Basics to re-employment and can be viewed on your own time, from your own home.

Disability Benefit Recipients

OPERS has closely monitored the impact of the coronavirus, and we are able to resume normal operations effective June 1, 2020. The requirements listed below were suspended earlier this year, but are once again in effect. You will be contacted should any of the requirements below apply to you. Please pay close attention to your mail and respond promptly to our requests.

  • The requirement of Continued Medical Treatment Forms (DR-CMT) submitted by your attending physician.
  • The requirement of medical records/reports submitted by your attending physician.
  • The requirement of medical records/forms required as part of the Rehabilitative Services Program.
  • The requirement to undergo an independent medical examination (IME).

Note: We are anticipating delays in the scheduling of in-person, independent medical examinations (IME). OPERS and its third-party administrator, Managed Medical Review Organization (MMRO), will make every effort to schedule your examination in a timely manner and at a location that is convenient for you. However, to ensure the health and safety of our members, there may be instances where the location of an IME may be farther from your home than expected.

Retirement Applications

Members who have submitted a retirement application will have their application processed in chronological order, based upon effective date. For those that have not yet submitted an application to retire, we strongly encourage members to utilize the online application to expedite the process.

Health Care

The Trump Administration has designated the diagnostic testing for COVID-19 an essential health benefit under the Affordable Care Act. If you are enrolled in the Medical Mutual group plan offered by OPERS, we will be waiving your costs for the diagnostic testing associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) if the test is ordered by a medical provider. Costs could include copays, deductibles and coinsurance. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, all other associated services will be covered based on our current plan deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Your Medical Plan Description document provides more specific details about what is covered. If you have specific questions about your coverage please contact Medical Mutual at 1-877-520-6728.

Your health is important to us. Please take all precautionary measures to protect yourself and others.

In light of the recent health crisis to help hospitals manage the most critical needs of our population, OPERS has agreed to waive the 3 day inpatient stay requirement for the Skilled Nursing Facility benefit effective immediately and until further notice

Refunds

All refunds will continue to be processed. If you want to apply for a refund, you are encouraged to do so through your online account. Remember, according to Ohio retirement law, you must wait two months from your public employment termination date before you can receive your refund. OPERS cannot process your refund during that two-month period.

Survivor Benefits

In the unfortunate event of the death of an OPERS member or beneficiary, please call us at 800-222-7377 to report the death. It’s not necessary for you to do so in person. Please know that OPERS must have a copy of a certified death certificate to pay a survivor benefit.

Additional Resources

We will continue to monitor the spread of the coronavirus and update our members and retirees as the situation evolves.

For up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the following links: