By Bonnie Burns, Consultant to California Health Advocates
The largest number of settlement members are premium paying policyholders who are not currently on claim. They are in category A of the nine categories designated to receive damages. These members must continue to pay the premiums for their CalPERS long term care insurance policy as if there was no settlement. This is because the settlement has not yet been finalized by the court. The court date for that decision will not happen until June 8, 2022. There is always a chance that the settlement will not be approved by the court or it could be delayed. Also, CalPERS has the option of withdrawing their agreement from the settlement if it will adversely impact the program. None of those actions have been taken yet and they could have enormous impact on the settlement and its members if they occur.
There are several important dates and actions the members need to take related to this settlement.
September 22nd was the deadline for category A members to choose interest in replacement coverage. If you selected that option, the Settlement Administrator must notify you in writing by October 27th whether or not replacement coverage will be available. If you didn’t select that option by the deadline, you can’t select it now.
- If replacement coverage is found, the Settlement Administrator will notify you of the terms of that paid-up replacement coverage and the date for accepting that coverage. You will have the option to accept that replacement coverage, or to choose the return of your premiums or to opt out of the settlement and keep your CalPERS long term care insurance. If you choose the replacement coverage those benefits will not begin until the settlement has been finalized. It’s important that you continue to pay the premium for your CalPERS long term care insurance until the actual date any replacement coverage begins.
- If no replacement coverage is found, you have until December 13th to notify the settlement administrator that you either want to have all your premiums refunded, or that you want to opt out of the settlement and keep your CalPERS long term care insurance. If you do nothing, you will automatically be included for a premium refund and, as a result, lose your CalPERS coverage.
If you are a member of this class action lawsuit in category A, the ONLY way you can keep your CalPERS long term care insurance is to formally opt out of the settlement in writing, providing all of the applicable information no later than December 13th. You opt out online or by mail. You can find the form to do that on the Settlement Website: https://www.calpersltcclassaction.com/Home/Benefits
If you go on claim before the date of the final settlement, you will have a choice after the final settlement date between a refund of all of the premiums you’ve paid or to continue to receive benefits under your CalPERS long term care policy. If you choose to continue receiving benefits, you won’t have any of your previous premium payments refunded under the settlement agreement. Remember that your policy has a waiver of premium that applies after you’ve received covered benefits for a certain period of time.
If you received a class notification for any of the other nine categories, the amounts used in that notice were current as of March 31, 2021. If you believe those amounts might have changed since that date you can file a dispute to have the claim recategorized by emailing: disputes@CalPERSLTCClassAction.com, or by mailing your dispute to: Wedding v. CalPERS, P.O. Box 6790, Portland, OR 97228-6790.
You can go to this website for all the frequently asked questions and answers: https://www.calpersltcclassaction.com/Home/Faq.
You can call this phone number for the Settlement Administrator 1-866-217-8056 (Toll-Free) to find out if you are a member of this class action settlement, or ask other questions.
Members should continue paying their premiums to preserve their place in the settlement. However, CalPERS policyholders have the right to reduce their benefits at any time and reduce the amount of premiums they pay, not just when CalPERS imposes a premium increase. Some policyholders may need to take advantage of that contractual right to retain some amount of benefits when their financial circumstances change.
We will continue to update this information as it becomes available.
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