HSTA VB Retiree – FAQs

HSTA VB Retiree

I’ve recently retired and enrolled in EUTF retiree health plans. Why am I receiving COBRA Continuation of Benefits Enrollment material?

For retirees who were enrolled in EUTF Active plans at the time of their retirement, once the EUTF receives an EC-1 form from your employer to terminate your active coverage, you will receive a COBRA Continuation of Coverage Election Notice from the EUTF.  COBRA allows you to continue some or all of your Active EUTF health plans.  Keep in mind that if you elect COBRA, you will be responsible for 110% of the premium cost.  The EUTF is required by federal law to offer COBRA to members who terminate EUTF health plans.

Click for more information about COBRA for retirees.

I am enrolled in EUTF retiree health plans and will be eligible for Medicare in a few months. What do I need to do?

The Hawaii Revised Statutes 87A-23(4) requires that State and County retirees and their eligible dependents who are enrolled in EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug benefit plans, must be enrolled in Medicare Part B when they become eligible.  Please provide proof of Medicare Part B enrollment to the EUTF within 60 days of becoming eligible.  If you and/or your covered dependent(s) are Medicare eligible and covered under EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug plans you must submit a copy of your and/or your dependent’s Medicare card (indicating enrollment into Medicare Part B), Medicare Part B Reimbursement Direct Deposit Agreement Form, and Social Security Administration letter for you and/or your dependent indicating the Medicare Part B Premium amount.  If you do not provide proof of Medicare Part B enrollment to the EUTF within 60 days of becoming eligible, your and/or your dependent’s EUTF retiree medical and/or prescription drug plans will be cancelled.

Click for a copy of the EUTF Medicare Checklist.

I pay a monthly premium for my EUTF retiree health plans. What are my premium payment options other than mailing in my payment to the EUTF?

If you are currently paying your healthcare premiums via check to the EUTF, you now have four other payment options:

  1. Premiums automatically deducted each month from your Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) pension.
  2. Monthly reoccurring electronic transfers from your bank account initiated and adjusted by the EUTF.
  3. Credit card for a fee of $2.50 plus 2.25% of the premium amount.
  4. Electronic transfers from your bank account that you initiate for a fee of $3.50 per transaction.

Click to initiate payment transactions or for more information.

How do I change my address?

Retirees may complete and submit a Retiree Address Change Form.  Once the Retiree Address Change Form is received, the EUTF will notify the health carriers of your new address. Be advised that all address changes must go through the EUTF, as health plan carriers are not able to make changes.

Where can I get more information on EUTF plan options for retirees, enrollment procedures and eligibility criteria?

The Health Benefits Retiree Reference Guide is published annually and mailed to retirees in the Fall.  The Reference Guide contains information on EUTF policies and procedures, enrollment and eligibility, employer contribution, health plan options, the EC-2 enrollment form, and Common Qualifying Events chart.

Do I need to turn in my Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) to get reimbursement for Medicare Part B?

Yes.  The EUTF will need a copy of your Medicare card, Direct Deposit Agreement Form, and Social Security Administration letter indicating your Medicare Part B premium or IRMAA.  EUTF will automatically reset your Medicare Part B premium reimbursement to the Medicare standard amount every January 1st. If you are paying above the Medicare standard amount you must submit a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating the amount you are paying every year to receive full reimbursement.

Will I be reimbursed for Medicare Part D premiums if I’m being charged by Social Security?

No, EUTF is not authorized under Hawaii Revised Statutes 87A to reimburse Medicare Part D premiums.

Can I change plans if I move out of the coverage area?

You may change plans if you are enrolled in the EUTF retiree Kaiser plan and move out of the service area. You have 30 days to notify EUTF and may switch to the HMSA 90/10 plan.  Please complete an EC-2 enrollment form (or EC-2H for HSTA VB members) and submit it to the EUTF within 30 days of moving out of the coverage area.

Does my spouse or I need to be covered under an EUTF active employee plan at the time of retirement to be eligible to enroll in the EUTF retiree plans?

No, you do not need to be enrolled in Active plans for any amount of time or be enrolled in the EUTF Active plan at all to qualify for EUTF retiree benefits.

If I retire from the State or County and later return to work for the State or County, do I need to notify the EUTF?

Yes, if you return to work full-time for the State or County you must notify the EUTF to stop your EUTF retiree plans and you may enroll in EUTF Active plans.  If you return to work part-time or outside of the State or County, this does not apply to you.

I’m getting divorced and my spouse is covered under my EUTF plans. What should I do?

Retirees must terminate their spouse’s/partner’s coverage within 30 days of the date of divorce.  Complete an EC-2 enrollment form (or EC-2H for HSTA VB members) and submit it to the EUTF within 30 days of your divorce date to terminate your spouse’s coverage.  Attach pages 1 and 2 of the divorce decree, along with the signature page.

If the EC-2/EC-2H is filed more than 60 days after the date of divorce, the retiree will be responsible for paying the employer contribution of premiums retroactive to the divorce date.

I’m getting married and want to add my spouse. What do I need to do?

Complete an EC-2 enrollment form (or EC-2H for HSTA VB members) and submit it to the EUTF within 30 days of your marriage date.  Attach a copy of your marriage certificate or if it’s not available within 30 days, send it to the EUTF within 60 days of your marriage date.  You can add your spouse to your current plans – you cannot change plans.

My dependent is no longer eligible (i.e., divorce, legal separation or dissolution of domestic partnership, etc.). Do I need to notify the EUTF?

Divorced or legally separated spouse/civil union partners, or domestic partners whose partnership has been dissolved are no longer eligible for EUTF plans, regardless of whether your divorce decree indicates that coverage must be afforded to your spouse.  You must notify the EUTF within 30 days from the divorce or legally separated filing dates or date of the termination of domestic partnership and terminate your dependent’s coverage.

Complete an EC-2 enrollment form (or EC-2H for HSTA VB members) and submit it to the EUTF within 30 days to remove your dependent from your EUTF plans.  If the EC-2/EC-2H is filed more than 60 days after the date of divorce/partnership, the retiree shall be responsible for paying the employer contribution of premiums retroactive to the divorce date.

My child is no longer eligible (i.e., graduated from college, no longer a full-time student, etc.), but is under the age of 24. Do I need to notify the EUTF?

You must notify the EUTF and terminate your child’s medical, prescription drug, dental and vision coverage within 30 days from when they become ineligible.

Complete an EC-2 enrollment form (or EC-2H for HSTA VB members) and submit it to the EUTF within 30 days to remove your dependent from your EUTF plans.

My spouse passed away. What do I need to do?

Please see the Death checklist for more information.

What and when is open enrollment?

Open Enrollment is your opportunity to make changes to your plan enrollment.  During Open Enrollment you can:

  • Add, change or cancel plans
  • Add or remove dependents
  • Change coverage tiers such as changing from single to family, or family to two party

You will be mailed a Retiree Reference Guide which will notify you of the upcoming Open Enrollment period.  Please make sure that your address is current so that you don’t miss out on this and other EUTF communications.  Open Enrollment usually takes place in the month of October and plan and premium changes become effective Jan. 1st.

How and when will I be reimbursed for my Medicare Part B premiums?

The following must be submitted to the EUTF in order to receive reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums:

  1. Copy of your Medicare card indicating enrollment in Medicare Part B
  2. Medicare Part B Premium Reimbursement Request and Direct Deposit Agreement Form
  3. Social Security Administration letter indicating the amount of your monthly Medicare Part B premium

Under current law, the amount of your Medicare Part B reimbursement is the amount you are charged by Medicare (minus any penalties). Generally, your reimbursement will be deposited quarterly during the first week of April, July, October and January for the prior quarter.

Why am I required to enroll in Medicare Part B when I am eligible?

The requirement for all State and County retirees and dependents to enroll in Medicare Part B was set forth in Act 88, 2001 Session Laws of Hawaii. This Act created Chapter 87A, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), which includes the following statute:

Section 87A-23(4): “All employee-beneficiaries or dependent-beneficiaries who are eligible to enroll in the Medicare Part B medical insurance plan shall enroll in that plan as a condition of receiving contributions and participating in benefits plans under this chapter. This paragraph shall apply to retired employees, their spouses or, and the surviving spouses of deceased retirees and employees killed in the performance of duty;”

Who is eligible for retiree health benefits?

As a State or County retiree, you are eligible to enroll:

  • Yourself
  • Your spouse, or domestic or civil union partner
  • Your children under age 19.  Children under age 24 if unmarried and a full-time student.  Dependent children include those by birth, marriage, foster, adoption or placement for adoption
  • Your child, regardless of age, who is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical impairment that existed prior to the child reaching age 19.

In addition, the following persons are eligible for Retiree health benefits:

  • The surviving spouse of an employee killed in the performance of the employee’s duty, provided he or she does not enter into another marriage or domestic partnership
  • The surviving spouse of a deceased retiree or a deceased employee who at the time of death was eligible for retirement, provided he or she does not enter into another marriage or domestic partnership
  • The unmarried child of a deceased retired employee, provided the child is under age 19 with no surviving parent who is eligible to be covered as a surviving spouse