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Important Notice from the Mississippi State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan about Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare for Medicare Eligible Persons who are Retirees, Surviving Spouses, and Dependents of Retirees and Surviving Spouses

Please read this notice carefully, and keep it where you can find it. This notice has information about your current prescription drug coverage with the Mississippi State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan (Plan) and new prescription drug coverage available for people with Medicare. It also tells you where to find more information to help you make decisions about your prescription drug coverage.

This notice only applies if you are both eligible for Medicare and covered by the Plan as a retiree, a surviving spouse, or as a dependent of a retiree or a surviving spouse.

  • 1.

    Starting January 1, 2006, new Medicare prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare.

  • 2.

    The State and School Employees Health Insurance Management Board has determined that the prescription drug coverage offered by the Plan in 2006 is, on average for all Plan participants, NOT expected to pay out as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage will pay.

  • 3.

    This is because, once Medicare Part D becomes effective January 1, 2006, the Plan will no longer provide prescription drug coverage for Medicare eligible persons who are retirees, surviving spouses, or dependents of retirees and surviving spouses.

  • 4.

    You have decisions to make about Medicare prescription drug coverage that may affect how much you pay for that coverage, depending on if and when you join. Read this notice carefully - it explains your options.

You may have heard about Medicare’s new prescription drug coverage, and wondered how it would affect you. Starting January 1, 2006, prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare through Medicare prescription drug plans. All Medicare prescription drug coverage will provide at least a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. Some plans might also offer more coverage for a higher monthly premium.

Once Medicare Part D becomes effective January 1, 2006, the Plan will not provide prescription drug coverage for Medicare eligible retirees, Medicare eligible surviving spouses, and Medicare eligible dependents of retirees and surviving spouses. This change does not affect your health care coverage through the Plan - it only means that prescription drug coverage will be available from Medicare but not the Plan.

REMEMBER: This change only affects prescription drug coverage – it does not affect your health care coverage through the Plan. If you drop your health care coverage with the Plan, you will not be able to get it back later.

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