OHIO POLICE & FIRE PENSION FUND HEALTHCARE TRANSITION
By: OPBA Attorney Brian Holb
As many of you are all too aware, the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund transitioned to providing retirees with a stipend to cover a portion of their healthcare costs. In early 2017, the OP&F Board of Trustees decided to restructure the retiree health care plan. This restructuring ended the group-sponsored model. The new model went into effect on January 1, 2019. OP&F’s stated reason for the change is to extend available funding for the health care plan for approximately 15 years
The OPBA has been watching this process closely and providing assistance to members when needed. OPBA leadership expressed their grave concerns about transitioning to a stipend model in early 2017 with Director. Unfortunately, the implementation of the stipend model has been worse than anyone anticipated.
The transition to health care stipends has been poorly executed, difficult, and frustrating. OP&F hired Aon to help facilitate this transition. There have been multiple issues with Aon being understaffed and with their employees not knowing the information retirees need to complete the transition. Retirees have experienced issues related to receiving the wrong stipend amount or no stipend at all.
Going forward, OPBA leadership will continue to watch this situation closely. It is our opinion that OP&F has no intention of reverting to the group-sponsored model. We will attempt to work with Director Gallagher and the OP&F Board of Trustees to ensure a competent level of customer service exists to help our members.
The OPBA understands this has been and will likely continue to be a difficult and frustrating experience. If you have any questions or need help securing your benefits through the OP&F health care fund, please contact Brian Holb at firstname.lastname@example.org.