June 18, 2012
External Affairs Branch
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Bill Madison, Information Officer
CalPERS Distributes More Than $19 Million in Medicare Retiree Drug Subsidies
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) announced today that it distributed more than $19 million in Medicare Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) funds to 826 of its contracting local public agency employers in June. This is CalPERS fifth subsidy disbursement to its contracting agency employers since the Medicare Part D Program was established in January 2006. CalPERS has distributed a total of $81.9 million in local public agency RDS funds over the past five years.
The Medicare program added the Part D voluntary federal outpatient prescription drug benefit in 2006. CalPERS participates in the Medicare Part D RDS Program for all Medicare members not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
“These funds will assist cities and counties that are struggling to maintain their health care benefits for retirees and their beneficiaries during these tough economic times,” said Ann Boynton, Deputy Executive Officer for CalPERS Benefit Programs Policy and Planning. “This should help offset rising prescription drug coverage costs and overall health care services.”
The State Controller’s Office has already distributed the reimbursement checks. Contracting agencies received RDS funds based on a formula that considers each individual agency’s contribution toward Medicare health premiums in 2010.
CalPERS is the largest purchaser of public employee health benefits in California, and the second largest public purchaser in the nation after the federal government. It spends approximately $7 billion a year to provide care to more than 1.3 million active and retired State and local government employees, retirees, and their family members. The average CalPERS pension is $2,332 per month. The average benefit for those who retired in the most recent fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011, is $3,065 per month. For more information about CalPERS, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.