Enrollment & Withdrawal
Enrolling at Retirement
If you are an age and service or disability benefit recipient and choose to enroll in the OPERS health care plan at retirement, your health care coverage will begin on the first day of the month in which OPERS receives your retirement benefit application, or your benefit effective date, whichever is later. OPERS requires that the Health Care Coverage Application be submitted during the retirement application process. Failure to provide the completed form within 30 days after your first pension benefit payment is released will result in the waiving of health care coverage. The next available time to enroll in OPERS health care coverage would be during the annual open enrollment period.
You may delay your enrollment no more than 30 days after the release of your first OPERS benefit payment. During the 30-day period following the release of your first benefit payment, you may make one change to the application you filed.
If you are receiving a survivor benefit, your health care coverage will begin on your benefit effective date but not more than one year from the date OPERS receives your health care application.
Identification cards will automatically be sent to you by your plan administrator once your first monthly benefit has been released. Please contact your administrator if you need additional identification cards.
OPERS will not provide you or your eligible dependents health care coverage during a suspension or forfeiture of your retirement benefit.
Deferring Enrollment in OPERS Health Care Coverage
You may choose to defer enrollment into the OPERS health care plan past the point of retirement. Once you decide to enroll, your allowance will be determined based on your years of service at retirement and your age at enrollment.
Your decision not to enroll applies to health, medical, hospital, surgical and prescription coverage for yourself and for your dependents. You will still be permitted to enroll in the optional dental and/or vision plan.
If you defer enrollment in OPERS health care coverage, you can enroll by sending OPERS a health care enrollment application at the following times:
- During the annual open enrollment period. Your enrollment will be effective January 1 of the next year.
- Within 60 days of the involuntary cancellation of your health care coverage by another health care plan. With your health care enrollment application, OPERS must receive evidence of this involuntary cancellation. With this evidence, you can enroll in the OPERS health plan and your coverage will be effective on the first day of the following month following receipt of all documents.
Open Enrollment is held each year in the fall. During this period, you may enroll in the plan, make adjustments to your coverage and enroll eligible dependents.
Medicare-eligible participants who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B will select a plan through the OPERS Medicare Connector.
Pre-Medicare-eligible participants will receive information from us about health care choices as the open enrollment approaches.
Please be sure to read materials carefully, as premiums and plan features often change from year to year. Any changes you elect to make during open enrollment will be effective Jan. 1 of the following year.
Retirees who voluntarily elect to withdraw from the OPERS health care plan may only re-enroll with proof of creditable coverage in another health care plan. With proof of creditable coverage, retirees may re-enroll during the annual open enrollment period or within 60 days of involuntary cancellation of health care coverage under another plan. Evidence of the cancellation is required. You can enroll in the OPERS health plan and your coverage will be effective the first day of the month following the receipt of all documents.