Towers Watson Via Benefits Medicare-Eligible Plans

Fermilab no longer provides coverage to Medicare-eligible retirees and dependents via our group PPO and HMO plans with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. All Medicare-eligible retirees and dependents select an individual plan with help from a licensed benefit advisor at Via Benefits.

Fermilab provides a subsidy of $175/month, per person, funded to a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). The account may be used to pay insurance premiums, Medicare Part B premiums and other health care expenses not covered by insurance. If a retiree is Medicare-eligible and their spouse is not, the spouse remains in the current Fermilab PPO or HMO until Medicare-eligible.

These changes also apply to former employees who are receiving benefits in Fermilab’s Long Term Disability Plan who are eligible for Medicare.

Age-In Process

  • Current and future retirees that are not Medicare-eligible will age into the plan.
  • Via Benefits sends a letter to the retiree at one year prior to their 65th birthday introducing Via Benefits and explaining what will happen within the next year.
  • Via Benefits sends a letter to the retiree at 9 months prior to their 65th birthday about how Via Benefits can assist the retiree and about attending an educational Medicare webinar.
  • Via Benefits sends a letter to the retiree at 6 months prior to their 65th birthday with a reminder to enroll in Medicare parts A & B, an explanation about enrollment requirements, and encouraging the retiree to call in and make an appointment.
  • Via Benefits sends an enrollment guide and information about HRA funding near their 65th birthday.
  • The age-in retiree is eligible for the Via Benefits program the first day of the month following a full month after they turn 65.
  • This allows enough time to enroll in Medicare and select a plan through Via Benefits.
    Example: Mr. Retiree turns 65 on 06/14/2023. He is eligible for the Via Benefits plan effective 08/01/2023. The group coverage through Fermilab ends on 07/31/2023.

    Via Benefits eligibility schedule.

    Via Benefits eligibility schedule.

Additional Information