September 2016 Benefits Corner


By Al Horan

Al Horan Captioned Q2 2015

By now everyone should have received Chevron’s newsletter announcing the changes in medical coverage for 2017. Post-65 retirees will also receive an announcement from Towers Watson OneExchange.

Based on the feedback we received from retirees, the 2017 changes to the Chevron medical program came as a surprise. However, Chevron’s decision to transfer the post-65 medical program to a private exchange is in line with 80% of other employers that are using or will be using private exchanges for medical coverage for their post-65 retirees. (Two examples of major Fortune 500 companies that have switched are AT&T and IBM. IBM is with OneExchange and from feedback I received from an IBM retiree he is pleased with the service provided by OneExchange.) If you visit the Chevron Retirees Association’s website (, on the “Benefits Corner” page you will see from the report “CRA Medical Insurance”, which was prepared by Mark Engelbrecht (Member of the Benefits Committee), employers have been turning to private exchanges as a way of being able to continue to offer affordable retiree medical coverage.

As mentioned in Chevron’s newsletter and in Mike Elgie’s column, Chevron chose Willis Towers Watson's OneExchange to help retirees understand and enroll in Medicare supplemental insurance. OneExchange currently provides similar service to approximately one million retirees from other organizations. Willis Towers Watson is a major benefits organization that employs 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries.

The changes in the medical program will allow Chevron to manage health care costs while being able to continue to provide retirees access to affordable health coverage. Their reasons for using a private exchange include the following:

  • Obtain more value. Chevron presently offers three medical plans. Through OneExchange retirees will be able to choose from a number of plans that should be compatible with their needs.
  • Greater flexibility. Retirees will also be able to enroll in dental and vision coverage through OneExchange. Now, Texaco, Unocal and Caltex retirees will have a choice in dental coverage. Currently, dental coverage for these retirees is only available through the Chevron Retirees Association.
  • Personalized health care. OneExchange will allow retirees to elect either the same or different coverage for their post-65 dependents. Currently, post-65 dependents must be enrolled in the same plan as the post-65 retiree.

You will receive assistance from a benefit advisor at OneExchange to help you decide which medical plan best meets your needs. In preparation for speaking to a benefit advisor you should familiarize yourself with Medigap Plans (there are eleven types) and Medicare Advantage Plans (there are four types) by visiting Medicare’s website – In addition it is suggested that you and your eligible post-65 dependents prepare lists of your prescription medications and your medical providers. Finally, it is suggested that you read the material from OneExchange (being mailed the week of August 22nd), and visit and register on the OneExchange website – By doing your homework and planning for your discussion with the benefits advisor, the process of enrolling in medical coverage for 2017 will be greatly simplified.

In addition, be sure to attend a OneExchange/Chevron meeting, watch the video presentation on the OneExchange website or listen to the presentation by telephone. To find out more about the changes be sure to watch for news releases from OneExchange and Chevron in the coming months.

Remember, post-65 retiree open enrollment will run from October 3rd through December 31st if you are currently enrolled in a Chevron health plan; and from October 15th through December 7th if you are eligible but not currently enrolled in a Chevron health plan. Unlike the past, you must select your new coverage during open enrollment since you will not automatically be enrolled in a default plan. If you do not elect coverage during open enrollment you will not be able to select medical coverage through Chevron at any time in the future.

It should be noted that wherever retiree is mentioned, this should be read to include eligible surviving spouse.

Al Horan, Benefits Chair:
Phone: 972-964-1787