Information for Caregivers For those caring for OPERS members and retirees
If you're caring for an OPERS benefit recipient, there are a few things you should know in order to help manage their account and make health care and financial decisions on their behalf.
If you are an authorized caregiver you will need to have the following on file with OPERS to access the member's account:
- Authorization for Release of Account Information form – This allows for access to your loved one's OPERS account information.
- HIPAA Authorization: For Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information form – This allows for the release of your loved one's protected health care information.
- Durable Power of Attorney – This will allow you to handle the affairs of your loved one (including medical care and finances) if they become mentally incapacitated. OPERS will only accept a Durable Power of Attorney.
- Letters of Guardianship – A Guardian of Estate is an individual, corporation or association (such as a nursing home) appointed by a probate court to be legally responsible for an incompetent person and/or their property. Only a Guardian of Estate can make changes to your loved one's OPERS account and finances.
These documents should submitted to OPERS.
Via Benefits, the administrator of the OPERS Medicare Connector, may have different rules and forms for caregivers and guardians. If your loved one purchased a Medicare plan through Via Benefits, you should contact Via Benefits directly for more information.
Notifying OPERS of a Member's Death
In the event an OPERS benefit recipient passes away, OPERS must be notified immediately.
When notifying OPERS of a death you will need:
- The deceased retiree's OPERS ID and/or Social Security number
- A copy of the death certificate
How to Notify OPERS
You can notify OPERS of a retiree's death in one of following ways:
Submit a copy of the death certificate or a letter stating the member has passed away
By calling OPERS at 1-800-222-7377
You can also stop by the OPERS office to notify us of the retiree's passing. Some preliminary paperwork can be completed during this visit. Walk-ins are welcome, but if you would prefer an appointment with one of our counselors, please call 1-800-222-7377.
Once notified, we will let the account beneficiary know what forms should be completed and if additional information is required.
If the deceased is a Medicare-eligible benefit recipient covered by a medical plan through Via Benefits, notify Via Benefits of the death by calling 1-844-287-9945.
You will also need to inform medical and pharmacy carriers to stop charging monthly premiums.
Ohio Deferred Compensation
If the deceased was a member of Ohio Deferred Compensation, you will need to contact them
Contact Social Security as soon as possible when someone getting benefits dies. In most cases, the funeral director will report the person's death to Social Security. Give the funeral director the deceased's Social Security number so he or she can report the death.