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Premium Assistance

What is Premium Assistance?

Participating in the Health Options Program may entitle you to a special financial incentive that is not available with a commercial program such as AARP or Blue Cross/Blue Shield. PSERS provides Premium Assistance to help eligible retirees pay for health coverage through the Health Options Program or another Commonwealth public school employer or district health plan.

If you are eligible for Premium Assistance and enroll in either a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan through the Health Options Program, PSERS will pay up to $100 per month toward your monthly premium. The amount of the Premium Assistance benefit is determined by the Pennsylvania legislature and is subject to change.

Am I Eligible for Premium Assistance?

You are eligible for Premium Assistance if you are a retiree who meets one of the following service or retirement type requirements:

  • You have at least 24½ years of credited service regardless of age, or
  • You terminate school employment and retire at or after reaching age 62* with at least 15 years of credited service, or
  • You are receiving a disability retirement benefit from PSERS.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can receive Premium Assistance only if you have an out-of-pocket premium from a medical plan offered through the Health Options Program or continue to participate in your former school employer’s approved plan. Premium Assistance is not payable:

  • for separate dental, vision or prescription drug plans, including standalone prescription drug options offered through the Health Options Program
  • for out-of-pocket premiums for a retiree’s spouse or dependents, or
  • if your school employer provides coverage to you at no cost or with nontaxable contributions.

Premium Assistance is added to your monthly retirement benefit as nontaxable income. If you are receiving Premium Assistance for coverage in your school employer plan and that coverage terminates, you must enroll in the Health Options Program to maintain your Premium Assistance.

*Age 65 for someone who first becomes a school employee and an active member or a multiple service member on or after July 1, 2011 (Membership Class T-E and T-F).

Important Note About Premium Assistance

If you elect a standalone prescription drug coverage option, you are not eligible for Premium Assistance.


Last modified on June 6, 2017