Thinking of an early retirement?

United Healthcare provides answers to commonly asked insurance-related questions

When President Bush signed the Railroad Retirement reform legislation into law on December 21, thousands of railroaders became eligible to retire at age 60 with 30 years of service -- and with no reduction in their annuity.

The following information has been provided by United Healthcare to help answer common questions posed by potential retirees. After reviewing the following, members who still have questions can contact United Healthcare directly at: (800) 842-5252.

Changes to the Railroad Employees National Early Retirement Major Medical Benefit Plan (GA-46000)

Recent changes to the Railroad Retirement Act will allow employees who are 60 years old with 30 or more years of service to retire at age 60 with no reduction in their RRB annuity.

An important consideration for anyone thinking about retirement is health coverage after you retire.

New Eligibility Rules

Along with the changes in the Railroad Retirement Act, the labor organizations representing railroad employees have negotiated a change in the eligibility rules under the Railroad Employees National Early Retirement Major Medical Benefit Plan (GA-46000), administered by United Healthcare.

Prior to January 1, 2002, GA-46000 required an employee to retire on or after reaching age 61. After this date, you can retire at age 60 and will be eligible for coverage under this plan if you meet the following eligibility requirements:

For age annuitants:

For disability annuitants:

In addition to the changes in eligibility rules, the lifetime maximum under GA-46000 will be adjusted each year by the medical cost component of the Consumer Price Index. The Lifetime Maximum for 2002 will be $79,000.

If you retire and are eligible for GA-46000, you can also purchase supplemental coverage under GA-23111, Plan E. Generally, Plan E pays 70% of the expenses not paid under GA-46000 and has a lifetime maximum of $200,000.

Enrollment is Necessary

When you retire, your railroad will not report you to United Healthcare as a retiree eligible for GA-46000. You must enroll yourself and your family with United Healthcare. You can do this in two ways:

You can purchase GA-23111, Plan E. Your eligibility for GA-46000 will be verified when your enrollment for that coverage is processed. ID cards for both GA-46000 and GA-23111 will be sent to you. A booklet explaining the Plan E benefits and an enrollment form can be obtained by calling United Healthcare.

You can complete and return the "Retiree and Dependent Information" form found in the center of the GA-46000 employee booklet. Your eligibility will be verified and a GA-46000 ID card will be sent to you. You can obtain a GA-46000 booklet from your employer or union representative.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for GA-46000 or the benefits provided under the plan, call United Healthcare at (800) 842-5252.


2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers