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HEALTH INSURANCE AND PREMIUM ASSISTANCE

 

PSERS Health Administration Unit
Unit PO Box 1764
Lancaster, PA 17608-1764
Health Options Program: 1.800.773.7725
Premium Assistance: 1.866.483.5509
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday
www.hopbenefits.com
Privacy Notification PDF

Health Options Program (HOP)

PSERS sponsors the Health Options Program to provide retirees and their dependents access to group health insurance. The benefits provided by Health Options Program are designed to meet the health insurance needs of PSERS retirees. Participation in Health Options Program is voluntary and the benefits are financed by the premiums paid by plan participants.  

You may enroll in Health Options Program within 180 days of a Qualifying Event if you are a:

  • Annuitant (PSERS retiree)

  • Spouse of Annuitant

  • Suvivor Annuitant

  • Dependent child of an Annuitant or Survivor Annuitant

Qualifying Events include:

  • You retire or lose health care coverage under your school employer’s health plan.

  • You involuntarily lose health care coverage under a non-school employer’s health plan.

  • You or your spouse reach age 65 or become eligible for Medicare.

  • You experience a change in your family status (including divorce, your death or death of a spouse, 
    addition of a dependent through birth, adoption, or marriage, or a dependent loses eligibility).

  •   You become eligible for Premium Assistance due to a change in legislation.

  • A plan approved for Premium Assistance terminates or you move out of a plan’s service area.

Qualifying Events apply to you, and may apply to your spouse, and your dependents. For example, if your spouse or dependents lose coverage under an employer's health plan, they may enroll in the Health Options Program.

Eligible dependents include: 

  • Your spouse

  • Your unmarried children under age 19, including natural children, stepchildren, legally adopted children, and children legally placed for adoption (Although the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform, extends coverage under employer plans to children under age 26, the law does not apply to retiree plans such as the Health Options Program.)

  • Your unmarried children age 19 to 23 who are enrolled as full-time students in an accredited college or university or in a technical or specialized school and who are not regularly employed by one or more employers on a full-time basis.

  • Your unmarried children disabled by a mental and/or physical disability before age 17 who meet all of these conditions:

    • Incapable of self-sustaining employment

    • Dependent on you for support

    • Live with you.

For more information about the Health Options Program or for customer service assistance you should contact HOP Administration Unit directly at 1.800.773.7725 or visit the HOP website at www.hopbenefits.com.

Premium Assistance

PSERS Premium Assistance Unit
200 North 3rd Street Harrisburg, PA 17101-1518
Premium Assistance: 1.866.483.5509
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, Monday - Friday
Privacy Notification (PDF)

In order to receive Premium Assistance, you must have an out-of-pocket premium expense for your own basic health insurance coverage.  Premium Assistance is not payable for separate dental, vision or prescription drug plans.  It is not payable for out-of-pocket premium expenses for the retiree's spouse or dependents, or if your school employer provides coverage to you at no cost.   Any premium payments made with pre-tax or non-taxed funds are not eligible for Premium Assistance.  As a reimbursement, Premium Assistance cannot exceed the retiree’s actual out-of-pocket premium expense and is not treated as taxable income.  You must also meet one of the years of service requirements or retirement type requirements and, have your health insurance coverage through one of the approved plans.   

Service or Retirement Type Requirements: 

    • You have at least 24.50 years of credited service regardless of age.

    • You terminate school employment and retire at or after reaching age 62* with at least 15.00 years of credited service. *Note: Age 65 with at least 15 years of credited service if you first became a school employee and an active member or a multiple service member on or after July 1, 2011 (Membership Class T-E and T-F).

    • You are receiving a disability retirement benefit from PSERS.

Approved plans are:

    • PSERS Health Options Program
    • A school employer’s (PSERS reporting unit) group health insurance plan providing hospital, medical and major medical coverage.

If you are receiving Premium Assistance for your participation in your public school employer plan and that coverage terminates, you must enroll in HOP to maintain your Premium Assistance benefit.   

If you do not enroll in HOP when your school employer's coverage ends you must send a written termination request to PSERS.  Please contact the Premium Assistance unit for details at 1.866.483.5509.  If you do not notify PSERS you will be billed for any overpayments made.  PSERS identifies retirees who receive overpayments annually, but it is your responsibility, not your school employer's to notify PSERS when you are no longer enrolled in a plan approved for Premium Assistance.

For more information regarding Premium Assistance, contact the Premium Assistance Unit at 1.866.483.5509 or visit the HOPbenefits.comOpens In A New Window website and click on Premium Assistance.