New Prescription Plan Coming for GIC's OME Enrollees

Only Medicare Retirees Subcribed to State Unicare Plan Impacted

July 2015 Voice: As of January 1, 2016 retirees enrolled in the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) Optional Medicare Extension (OME) plan will receive their prescription drug benefits through a federal Medicare program known as EGWP.

The acronym, pronounced “Egg-Whip”, stands for Employer Group Waiver Program. Essentially, EGWP is a prescription drug program run by the federal government through Medicare Part D.

Retirees should not take any action to enroll in EGWP or Medicare D on their own. The GIC will group enroll all OME plan members. Should further information be required to complete one’s enrollment, the GIC will contact the retiree directly.

While the new prescription drug program is technically part of the Medicare Part D benefit, it will continue to be operated by the GIC and serviced by CVS Caremark and its affiliate Silver Script. Benefits and drug copayments remain under the control of the GIC at the levels going into effect on July 1, 2015.

“It is our understanding that member benefits are to remain the same as they will be on July 1. What changes with EGWP are the things happening behind the scenes, such as bulk purchasing of drugs and the receipt of additional federal subsidies to help defer costs,” explains Association Legislative Director Shawn Duhamel. “Enrolling in EGWP was one of the recommendations of the 2012 Retiree Healthcare Commission. A number of municipalities have already done so over the past several years, with no disruption in benefits.”