Your Health Care Coverage in Retirement

Currently SERS offers health care coverage, which includes medical and prescription drug coverage, to qualifying benefit recipients.

To the extent that resources permit, SERS intends to continue offering access to health care coverage. However, SERS reserves the right to change or discontinue any plan or program at any time.

Health care coverage from a school employer is different than health care coverage available for retirees. Employers typically offer more generous health care benefits as part of their overall compensation package. Once you retire, you may find that your costs are higher.

Following is a brief overview of health care eligibility and premium information for a service retiree. Please see the Member Health Care Guide for a comprehensive guide to SERS’ health care program.


Health Care Eligibility

You are eligible for coverage if you have 10 years of qualified service credit.

Qualified service credit includes:

  • Earned or restored service
  • Contributing STRS, OPERS, Ohio Police & Fire, Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System, and Cincinnati Retirement System service credit, provided the credit is not earned at the same time SERS service credit is earned
  • Workers’ Compensation credit
  • Service credit earned as a student

Qualified service credit does not include:

  • Military (other than free or interrupted military service credit)
  • Federal government, private school, or out-of-state service
  • Exempted service
  • ERI (Early Retirement Incentive), or ‘buy out’

There are three times when you can enroll in SERS’ coverage:

  • When you retire or begin receiving a disability benefit
  • Within 90 days of becoming eligible for Medicare
  • Within 31 days of involuntary termination of other health care coverage or termination of Medicaid
    — Failing to pay the premium or ending coverage because of plan changes does not count as involuntary termination.

Spouses and Children

When you enroll in our coverage, you may cover your spouse, and children up to age 26, as dependents.


Eligible for Medicare?

If you are retiring because you are nearly age 65 and will be eligible for Medicare, learn more about Medicare enrollment.


Premium Subsidies

SERS helps reduce health care premiums by providing a subsidy to those who qualify.


How do I Qualify for a Premium Subsidy?

You must have at least 20 years of qualified service credit, or be receiving a disability benefit. In addition, at the time of retirement, disability, or separation from service, you must:

  • be eligible to participate in the health care plan of your last school employer, or
  • have been eligible to participate in the health care plan of your school employer at
    least three of the last five years of service

If you are eligible for your employer’s health care coverage and have slightly less than 20 years of service credit, it may be beneficial to work until you have 20 qualified years of service.

The following charts show the 2019 monthly premiums with and without a premium subsidy:

Subsidized Non-Medicare Premiums


Non-Medicare Plans

No Premium Subsidy

20 Years Qualified Service Credit

30 Years Qualified Service Credit

Aetna Choice POS II

$1,282*

$659

$284

AultCare PPO

$1,042*

$539

$236

*If you do not qualify for a premium subsidy, you must pay the full premium regardless of your qualified years of service credit.

Subsidized Medicare Premiums


Medicare Plans (with Medicare Parts A and B)

No Premium Subsidy

20 Years Qualified Service Credit

30 Years Qualified Service Credit

Aetna Medicare Plan (PPO)

$198*

$117

$68

Paramount Elite Medicare Advantage

$243*

$139

$77

PrimeTime Health Plan

$260*

$148

$80

*If you do not qualify for a premium subsidy, you must pay the full premium regardless of your qualified years of service credit.