Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sandy Knoesel (Beth Coffey): Some answers for surviving beneficiary

From Beth Coffey, December 16, 2008
Subject: FW: QUES:: Sandy: STRS Question
Following is the response (and attachment) that Ms. Knoesel sent to Dr. Leone regarding this issue.
A surviving beneficiary who is receiving benefits from a deceased retiree’s account is eligible for health care from STRS Ohio. For the first five years, the surviving beneficiary’s health care premium would be subsidized; following the initial five-year period, the surviving beneficiary would be eligible for health care at the benefit recipient’s full cost rate without any subsidy.
A surviving beneficiary’s current spouse may receive health care coverage if that spouse qualifies as a sponsored dependent. Sponsored dependent premiums are not subsidized; therefore, sponsored dependents pay the total cost of their premium. The 2008 monthly premium for a sponsored dependent who is not eligible for Medicare under the Medical Mutual Plus Plan is $669. In the event the surviving beneficiary dies, their current spouse’s STRS Ohio health care as a sponsored dependent would terminate and they would not be eligible for any further benefits from STRS Ohio.
The attachment has the definition of sponsored dependent from the 2009 STRS Ohio Health Care Program booklet.
I hope this information is helpful.
Sandy Knoesel
Beth M. Coffey Member Resolution Liaison
(614) 227-4031 - direct
(888) 227-7877 - toll-free
(614) 227-5216 - fax
From Molly Janczyk, December 12, 2008
Subject: QUES:: Sandy: STRS Question
HOW much do folks in this position pay for premiums? How long is their eligibility? WHY is this SPOUSE allowed to enroll a husband? Neither were educators. One is a spouse and only benefits to her should be considered as written. Since when do we get to bring others into our shareholders? I have some relations and friends who could use some help? Can I enroll them?
Subject: Sandy: STRS Question Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008
This is outrageous, if true. Is the below true: The below came from another source:
I'm not sure if you know the answer to my question but maybe you know someone that could answer it.
____ got a call from a friend today and she told____something that really made me mad. This can't be true can it?
The friend is a widow of a teacher. She couldn't collect benefits right after his death because she was only in her mid forties. A few years later she became eligible for his retirement benefits as a survivor. She later remarried a man that worked for a company outside of STRS. Due to problems, the husband's insurance benefits have been cut drastically at his company outside of STRS. The friend contacted STRS and was told she could get benefits for her and her husband through STRS. They even told her that if she pre-deceases her second husband that he will be able to continue his insurance through STRS. If this is true how the hell can STRS justify insuring two people who spent not one day in education. If this is true we need to get somebody to pursue getting it changed pronto. I didn't spend 35 years paying into STRS to have them insure people that didn't contribute a dime. Let me know if you can find out the answer. Thanks!!
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
web page counter
Vermont Teddy Bear Company