MCREA Health and Member Benefits- Barbara Satz


Aetna sent all members a new ID card in the mail. Look for a PURPLE envelope that will state “Your new member ID card enclosed”. Aetna is updating its system and changing the information on the ID cards so every member will be receiving a new card.

The new ID card will be effective January 1, 2022. Please remember to replace your current ID card with your new card on January 1, 2022.

For the last couple of years, the Division of Pensions and Benefits has been slowly moving all health benefits management online. Beginning January 1, 2022 all retiree health benefits will be online using a program called Benefit solver. A large postcard was recently sent by the company that is handling the website mynjbenefitshub.nj.gov

While retirees will be seeing no change in their medical and prescription benefits, the prescription formulary (the list of drugs covered by the plan) is updated every January 1.

Each year there are drugs that change categories. Some become cheaper while others become more expensive. This is allowed as part of the contract OptumRx has with the State of New Jersey. I suggest that you call OptumRx (the number is on the card) and request that they send you a new 2022 Formulary and Evidence of Coverage.

If you have not done so in the past, check out the neamb.com website for lots of member benefits. They have a whole new section for retirees as well as Kiplinger’s monthly newsletter you can access for free.

NEA Member Benefits will be launching a new entertainment tickets program for NEA members: the NEA Discount Tickets Program. This new program is being offered in partnership with Entertainment Benefits Group (EBG). The program provides members with access to the world’s greatest entertainment brands including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, Cirque du Soleil, Cedar Fair, Sea World Parks and Entertainment and many more. Members may save up to 40%on tickets in five event categories: Theme Parks and Attractions; Movies; Broadway Shows; Ski Resorts; and Preferred Access Events including Concerts and Sports like the NFL, NBA, NHL and more.

The NEA Discount Tickets platform has been designed for ease of use and a superior member experience: transparent pricing that displays all taxes and fees; clear billing and credit cardholder information; and comprehensive ticket and box-office/pick-up details. In addition, the program provides a dedicated, toll-free NEA customer service phone number, 833-266-0632, which will operate from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Eastern Standard Time - 7 days a week, 365 days per year. You may also access the platform at www.neamb.com/tickets


 Deceased Member Health Insurance Issues & other Info...

Several times since I have been your President we have had spouses of our members with a particular health insurance issue.  PLEASE BE AWARE……. If YOU, the member, have a spouse on your health insurance plan (both Aetna and SHBP/SEHBP) and you pass away, your surviving spouse is only covered until the end of the month in which you pass away.  You pass away on the 1st of the month, your spouse needs new insurance by the 30th. If you pass away on the 29th of the month, they only have 1 day to get new health insurance. One would think it would be 30 days total to get new insurance. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. This is a health insurance policy…..not NJREA or NEA or NJEA. You cannot always plan ahead, however, you need to know this and be proactive. Who is going to be thinking about health insurance when one’s spouse passes away?



Feeling anxious, depressed, just need to talk with someone -

Contact NJEA’s 24/7 Helpline 866-AID-NJEA (1-866-243-6532 ) Call for a 24/7 Member Support helpline focused on you!


State law requires that a member or dependent spouse/partner/child who is eligible for Medicare by reason of age (65 or older)or disability must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A(hospital) and Part B(medical) and maintain Medicare Part A and Part B coverage to remain eligible for state-paid, post-retirement medical benefits through the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP).

Acceptable proof includes a photocopy of your Medicare card showing Part A and B enrollment or a letter from Medicare indicating the effective dates of Parts A and B coverage. Send evidence of enrollment to the Health Benefits Bureau, Division of Pensions and Benefits, PO Box 299, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0299.

If you are collecting Social Security, they will send you notification of Medicare approximately 3 months before the month you turn 65 and collect payment for Part B out of your Social Security check.

If you are not collecting Social Security, you must apply for Medicare yourself approximately 3 months before the month you turn 65 and make payments to Medicare for Part B yourself. Not making payments can result in loss of state-paid, post-retirement medical benefits.

If you are retired from a board of education with 25 years or more of pension credit you will receive full Medicare Part B reimbursement. This reimbursement will be added directly to your monthly pension check.

Retirees enrolled in SEHBP should not sign up for any alternate supplemental Medicare coverage. Enrollment in another plan would result in the loss of SEHBP.


Feeling anxious, depressed, just need to talk with someone -

Contact NJEA’s 24/7 Helpline 866-AID-NJEA (1-866-243-6532 ) Call for a 24/7 Member Support helpline focused on you! 


Hi Susan,
I hope this information can be helpful to other members.  I called Aetna to get paid for my yearly physical ($75.) They told me my debit card would come in a "plain white envelope."
I am in the habit of throwing out "junk mail" on my way in from the mailbox--it never hits the house.  So, I was a bit anxious about missing the envelope and in fact, thought that I had thrown it out.  I was about to call Aetna, but I realized there was no way to prove that I didn't get the payment.  Ironically, I received the "plain white envelope" the next day.
The envelope is not business sized.  It looks more like a greeting card envelope.  The return address is:
217 Country Club Park #112, Birmingham, AL 35213.  It is posted in Las Vegas, Nevada.  This is exactly the type of mail that would go straight to the recycling bin.
I wonder if others have missed their payment.  What is the reason for not including "Aetna" on the envelope?  Thanks.  I hope you and your family are well.